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
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
O God, whom I praise,
don’t stand silent and aloof
while the wicked slander me
and tell lies about me.
They surround me with hateful words
and fight against me for no reason.
I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations
even as I am praying for them!
They repay evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him.
Send an accuser to bring him to trial.
When his case comes up for judgment,
let him be pronounced guilty.
Count his prayers as sins.
Let his years be few;
let someone else take his position.
May his children become fatherless,
and his wife a widow.
May his children wander as beggars
and be driven from their ruined homes.
May creditors seize his entire estate,
and strangers take all he has earned.
Let no one be kind to him;
let no one pity his fatherless children.
May all his offspring die.
May his family name be blotted out in the next generation.
May the Lord never forget the sins of his fathers;
may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record.
May the Lord always remember these sins,
and may his name disappear from human memory.
For he refused all kindness to others;
he persecuted the poor and needy,
and he hounded the broken-hearted to death.
He loved to curse others;
now you curse him.
He never blessed others;
now don’t you bless him.
Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing,
or the water he drinks,
or the rich food he eats.
Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing;
may they be tied around him like a belt.”
May those curses become the Lord’s punishment
for my accusers who speak evil of me.
But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord,
for the sake of your own reputation!
because you are so faithful and good.
For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is full of pain.
I am fading like a shadow at dusk;
I am brushed off like a locust.
My knees are weak from fasting,
and I am skin and bones.
I am a joke to people everywhere;
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me because of your unfailing love.
Let them see that this is your doing,
that you yourself have done it, Lord.
Then let them curse me if they like,
but you will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
praising him to everyone.
For he stands beside the needy,
ready to save them from those who condemn 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 Feast of Shelters
Again the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month is the Feast of Shelters. This feast to the Lord will continue for seven days. There will be a holy meeting on the first day; do not do any work. You will bring an offering made by fire to the Lord each day for seven days. On the eighth day you will have another holy meeting, and you will bring an offering made by fire to the Lord. This will be a holy meeting; do not do any work.
(“‘These are the Lord’s special feasts, when there will be holy meetings and when you bring offerings made by fire to the Lord. You will bring whole burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and drink offerings—each at the right time. These offerings are in addition to those for the Lord’s Sabbath days, in addition to offerings you give as payment for special promises, and in addition to special offerings you want to give to the Lord.)
“‘So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered in the crops of the land, celebrate the Lord’s festival for seven days. You must rest on the first day and the eighth day. On the first day you will take good fruit from the fruit trees, as well as branches from palm trees, poplars, and other leafy trees. You will celebrate before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This law will continue from now on; you will celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in shelters for seven days. All the people born in Israel must live in shelters so that all your descendants will know I made Israel live in shelters during the time I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’”
So Moses told the people of Israel about all of the Lord’s appointed feast days.
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.