In the church calendar the long period of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time’. Since we have celebrated the 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
O Lord, the God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
Arise, O Judge of the earth.
Give the proud what they deserve.
How long, O Lord?
How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?
How long will they speak with arrogance?
How long will these evil people boast?
They crush your people, Lord,
hurting those you claim as your own.
They kill widows and foreigners
and murder orphans.
“The Lord isn’t looking,” they say,
“and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.”
Think again, you fools!
When will you finally catch on?
Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?
Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?
He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
The Lord knows people’s thoughts;
he knows they are worthless!
Joyful are those you discipline, Lord,
those you teach with your instructions.
You give them relief from troubled times
until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
The Lord will not reject his people;
he will not abandon his special possession.
Judgment will again be founded on justice,
and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.
Who will protect me from the wicked?
Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Unless the Lord had helped me,
I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
They gang up against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord is my fortress;
my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
God will turn the sins of evil people back on them.
He will destroy them for their sins.
The Lord our God will destroy them.
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
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘You will announce the Lord’s appointed feasts as holy meetings. These are my special feasts.
“‘There are six days for you to work, but the seventh day will be a special day of rest. It is a day for a holy meeting; you must not do any work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your homes.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread
“‘These are the Lord’s appointed feasts, the holy meetings, which you will announce at the times set for them. The Lord’s Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month, beginning at twilight. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the fifteenth day of the same month. You will eat bread made without yeast for seven days. On the first day of this feast you will have a holy meeting, and you must not do any work. For seven days you will bring an offering made by fire to the Lord. There will be a holy meeting on the seventh day, and on that day you must not do any regular work.’”
The First of the Harvest
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘You will enter the land I will give you and gather its harvest. At that time you must bring the first bundle of grain from your harvest to the priest. The priest will present the bundle before the Lord, and it will be accepted for you; he will present the bundle on the day after the Sabbath.
“‘On the day when you present the bundle of grain, offer a male lamb, one year old, that has nothing wrong with it, as a burnt offering to the Lord. You must also offer a grain offering—four quarts of fine flour mixed with olive oil as an offering made by fire to the Lord; its smell will be pleasing to him. You must also offer a quart of wine as a drink offering. Until the day you bring your offering to your God, do not eat any new grain, roasted grain, or bread made from new grain. This law will always continue for people from now on, wherever you live.
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…)
Lord Jesus, we thank you for another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize. 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.