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
Praise the Lord!
I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!
He gives food to those who fear him;
he always remembers his covenant.
He has shown his great power to his people
by giving them the lands of other nations.
All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Praise him forever!
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
“‘When you harvest your crops on your land, do not harvest all the way to the corners of your fields. If grain falls onto the ground, don’t gather it up. Don’t pick all the grapes in your vineyards, and don’t pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. You must leave those things for poor people and for people traveling through your country. I am the Lord your God.
“‘You must not steal. You must not cheat people, and you must not lie to each other. You must not make a false promise by my name, or you will show that you don’t respect your God. I am the Lord.
“‘You must not cheat your neighbour or rob him. You must not keep a hired worker’s salary all night until morning. You must not curse a deaf person or put something in front of a blind person to make him fall. But you must respect your God. I am the Lord.
“‘Be fair in your judging. You must not show special favour to poor people or great people, but be fair when you judge your neighbour. You must not spread false stories against other people, and you must not do anything that would put your neighbour’s life in danger. I am the Lord.
“‘You must not hate your fellow citizen in your heart. If your neighbour does something wrong, tell him about it, or you will be partly to blame. Forget about the wrong things people do to you, and do not try to get even. Love your neighbour as you love yourself. I am the Lord.
“‘Obey my laws. You must not mate two different kinds of cattle or sow your field with two different kinds of seed. You must not wear clothing made from two different kinds of material mixed together.
“‘If a man has sexual relations with a slave girl of another man, but this slave girl has not been bought or given her freedom, there must be punishment. But they are not to be put to death, because the woman was not free. The man must bring a male sheep as his penalty offering to the Lord at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. The priest will offer the sheep as a penalty offering before the Lord for the man’s sin, to remove the sins of the man so he will belong to the Lord. Then he will be forgiven for his sin.
“‘In the future, when you enter your country, you will plant many kinds of trees for food. After planting a tree, wait three years before using its fruit. In the fourth year the fruit from the tree will be the Lord’s, a holy offering of praise to him. Then in the fifth year, you may eat the fruit from the tree. The tree will then produce more fruit for you. I am the Lord your God.
“‘You must not eat anything with the blood in it.
“‘You must not try to tell the future by signs or black magic.
“‘You must not cut the hair on the sides of your heads or cut the edges of your beard. You must not cut your body to show sadness for someone who died or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.
“‘Do not dishonour your daughter by making her become a prostitute. If you do this, the country will be filled with all kinds of sin.
“‘Obey the laws about Sabbaths, and respect my Most Holy Place. I am the Lord.
“‘Do not go to mediums or fortune-tellers for advice, or you will become unclean. I am the Lord your God.
“‘Show respect to old people; stand up in their presence. Show respect also to your God. I am the Lord.
“‘Do not mistreat foreigners living in your country, but treat them just as you treat your own citizens. Love foreigners as you love yourselves, because you were foreigners one time in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
“‘Do not cheat when you measure the length or weight or amount of something. Your weights and balances should weigh correctly, with your weighing baskets the right size and your jars holding the right amount of liquid. I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of the land of Egypt.
“‘Remember all my laws and rules, and obey them. I am the Lord.’”
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.