In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated to birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen
A song. A psalm of Asaph.
O God, do not be silent!
Do not be deaf.
Do not be quiet, O God.
Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies?
Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up?
They devise crafty schemes against your people;
they conspire against your precious ones.
“Come,” they say, “let us wipe out Israel as a nation.
We will destroy the very memory of its existence.”
Yes, this was their unanimous decision.
They signed a treaty as allies against you—
these Edomites and Ishmaelites;
Moabites and Hagrites;
Gebalites, Ammonites, and Amalekites;
and people from Philistia and Tyre.
Assyria has joined them, too,
and is allied with the descendants of Lot. Interlude
Do to them as you did to the Midianites
and as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River.
They were destroyed at Endor,
and their decaying corpses fertilized the soil.
Let their mighty nobles die as Oreb and Zeeb did.
Let all their princes die like Zebah and Zalmunna,
for they said, “Let us seize for our own use
these pasturelands of God!”
O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed,
like chaff before the wind!
As a fire burns a forest
and as a flame sets mountains ablaze,
chase them with your fierce storm;
terrify them with your tempest.
Utterly disgrace them
until they submit to your name, O Lord.
Let them be ashamed and terrified forever.
Let them die in disgrace.
Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord,
that you alone are the Most High,
supreme over all the earth.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
Rules for Cleaning Mildew
The Lord also said to Moses and Aaron, “I am giving the land of Canaan to your people. When they enter that land, if I cause mildew to grow in someone’s house in that land, the owner of that house must come and tell the priest. He should say, ‘I have seen something like mildew in my house.’ Then the priest must order the people to empty the house before he goes in to look at the mildew. This is so he will not have to say that everything in the house is unclean. After this, the priest will go in to look at it. He will look at the mildew, and if the mildew on the walls of the house is green or red and goes into the wall’s surface, he must go out and close up the house for seven days. On the seventh day the priest must come back and check the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls of the house, the priest must order the people to tear out the stones with the mildew on them. They should throw them away, at a certain unclean place outside the city. Then the priest must have all the inside of the house scraped. The people must throw away the plaster they scraped off the walls, at a certain unclean place outside the city. Then the owner must put new stones in the walls, and he must cover the walls with new clay plaster.
“Suppose a person has taken away the old stones and plaster and put in new stones and plaster. If mildew again appears in his house, the priest must come back and check the house again. If the mildew has spread in the house, it is a mildew that destroys things; the house is unclean. Then the owner must tear down the house, remove all its stones, plaster, and wood, and take them to the unclean place outside the city. Anyone who goes into that house while it is closed up will be unclean until evening. Anyone who eats in that house or lies down there must wash his clothes.
“Suppose after new stones and plaster have been put in a house, the priest checks it again and the mildew has not spread. Then the priest will announce that the house is clean, because the mildew is gone.
“Then, to make the house clean, the priest must take two birds, a piece of cedar wood, a piece of red string, and a hyssop plant. He will kill one bird in a clay bowl containing fresh water. Then he will take the bird that is still alive, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the red string, and he will dip them into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. The priest will sprinkle the blood on the house seven times. He will use the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the red string to make the house clean. He will then go to an open field outside the city and let the living bird go free. This is how the priest makes the house clean and ready for service to the Lord.”
These are the teachings about any kind of skin disease, mildew on pieces of cloth or in a house, swellings, rashes, or bright spots on the skin; they help people decide when things are unclean and when they are clean. These are the teachings about all these kinds of diseases.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection……
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved
All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.