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.
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
Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
You said, “I have raised up a warrior.
I have selected him from the common people to be king.
I have found my servant David.
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
I will steady him with my hand;
with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
His enemies will not defeat him,
nor will the wicked overpower him.
I will beat down his adversaries before him
and destroy those who hate him.
My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and by my authority he will grow in power.
I will extend his rule over the sea,
his dominion over the rivers.
And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
I will make him my firstborn son,
the mightiest king on earth.
I will love him and be kind to him forever;
my covenant with him will never end.
I will preserve an heir for him;
his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven.
But if his descendants forsake my instructions
and fail to obey my regulations,
if they do not obey my decrees
and fail to keep my commands,
then I will punish their sin with the rod,
and their disobedience with beating.
But I will never stop loving him
nor fail to keep my promise to him.
No, I will not break my covenant;
I will not take back a single word I said.
I have sworn an oath to David,
and in my holiness I cannot lie:
His dynasty will go on forever;
his kingdom will endure as the sun.
It will be as eternal as the moon,
my faithful witness in the sky!” Interlude
But now you have rejected him and cast him off.
You are angry with your anointed king.
You have renounced your covenant with him;
you have thrown his crown in the dust.
You have broken down the walls protecting him
and ruined every fort defending him.
Everyone who comes along has robbed him,
and he has become a joke to his neighbours.
You have strengthened his enemies
and made them all rejoice.
You have made his sword useless
and refused to help him in battle.
You have ended his splendour
and overturned his throne.
You have made him old before his time
and publicly disgraced him. Interlude
O Lord, how long will this go on?
Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your anger burn like fire?
Remember how short my life is,
how empty and futile this human existence!
No one can live forever; all will die.
No one can escape the power of the grave. Interlude
Lord, where is your unfailing love?
You promised it to David with a faithful pledge.
Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced!
I carry in my heart the insults of so many people.
Your enemies have mocked me, O Lord;
they mock your anointed king wherever he goes.
Praise the Lord forever!
Amen and amen!
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 About Sexual Relations
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God. In the past you lived in Egypt, but you must not do what was done in that country. And you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their customs. You must obey my rules and follow them. I am the Lord your God. Obey my laws and rules; a person who obeys them will live because of them. I am the Lord.
“‘You must never have sexual relations with your close relatives. I am the Lord.
“‘You must not shame your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have sexual relations with her. You must not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would shame your father.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with your sister, either the daughter of your father or your mother. It doesn’t matter if she was born in your house or somewhere else.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would bring shame on you.
“‘If your father and his wife have a daughter, she is your sister. You must not have sexual relations with her.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative. You must not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister; she is your mother’s close relative. You must not have sexual relations with the wife of your father’s brother, because this would shame him. She is your aunt.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. Do not have sexual relations with her.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife. That would shame your brother.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. And do not have sexual relations with this woman’s granddaughter, either the daughter of her son or her daughter; they are her close relatives. It is evil to do this.
“‘While your wife is still living, you must not take her sister as another wife. Do not have sexual relations with her.
“‘You must not go near a woman to have sexual relations with her during her monthly period, when she is unclean.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with your neighbour’s wife and make yourself unclean with her.
“‘You must not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, because this would show that you do not respect your God. I am the Lord.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with a man as you would a woman. That is a hateful sin.
“‘You must not have sexual relations with an animal and make yourself unclean with it. Also a woman must not have sexual relations with an animal; it is not natural.
“‘Don’t make yourself unclean by any of these wrong things. I am forcing nations out of their countries because they did these sins, and I am giving their land to you. The land has become unclean, and I punished it for its sins, so the land is throwing out those people who live there.
“‘You must obey my laws and rules, and you must not do any of these hateful sins. These rules are for the citizens of Israel and for the people who live with you. The people who lived in the land before you did all these hateful things and made the land unclean. If you do these things, you will also make the land unclean, and it will throw you out as it threw out the nations before you. Anyone who does these hateful sins must be cut off from the people. Keep my command not to do these hateful sins that were done by the people who lived in the land before you. Don’t make yourself unclean by doing them. I am the Lord your God.’”
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…)
Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name. 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.