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
The trees of the Lord are well cared for—
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests,
and the storks make their homes in the cypresses.
High in the mountains live the wild goats,
and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes.
You made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to set.
You send the darkness, and it becomes night,
when all the forest animals prowl about.
Then the young lions roar for their prey,
stalking the food provided by God.
At dawn they slink back
into their dens to rest.
Then people go off to their work,
where they labour until evening.
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
teeming with life of every kind,
both large and small.
See the ships sailing along,
and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
They all depend on you
to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them,
and they are richly satisfied.
But if you turn away from them, they panic.
When you take away their breath,
they die and turn again to dust.
When you give them your breath, life is created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
The earth trembles at his glance;
the mountains smoke at his touch.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;
let the wicked disappear forever.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
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
How Priests Must Behave
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell these things to Aaron’s sons, the priests: ‘A priest must not make himself unclean by touching a dead person. But if the dead person was one of his close relatives, he may touch him. The priest may make himself unclean if the dead person is his mother or father, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister who is close to him because she has no husband. The priest may make himself unclean for her if she dies. But a priest must not make himself unclean if the dead person was only related to him by marriage.
“‘Priests must not shave their heads, or shave off the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies. They must be holy to their God and show respect for God’s name, because they present the offerings made by fire to the Lord, which is the food of their God. So they must be holy.
“‘A priest must not marry an unclean prostitute or a divorced woman, because he is holy to his God. Treat him as holy, because he offers up the food of your God. Think of him as holy; I am the Lord who makes you holy, and I am holy.
“‘If a priest’s daughter makes herself unclean by becoming a prostitute, she shames her father. She must be burned with fire.
“‘The high priest, who was chosen from among his brothers, had the special olive oil poured on his head. He was also appointed to wear the priestly clothes. So he must not show his sadness by letting his hair go uncombed or tearing his clothes. He must not go into a house where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even if it is for his own father or mother. The high priest must not go out of the Holy Place, because if he does and becomes unclean, he will make God’s Holy Place unclean. The special oil used in appointing priests was poured on his head to separate him from the rest of the people. I am the Lord.
“‘The high priest must marry a woman who is a virgin. He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a prostitute. He must marry a virgin from his own people so the people will respect his children as his own. I am the Lord. I have set the high priest apart for his special job.’”
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: ‘If any of your descendants have something wrong with them, they must never come near to offer the special food of their God. Anyone who has something wrong with him must not come near: blind men, crippled men, men with damaged faces, deformed men, men with a crippled foot or hand, hunchbacks, dwarfs, men who have something wrong with their eyes, men who have an itching disease or a skin disease, or men who have damaged sex glands.
“‘If one of Aaron’s descendants has something wrong with him, he cannot come near to make the offerings made by fire to the Lord. He has something wrong with him; he cannot offer the food of his God. He may eat the most holy food and also the holy food. But he may not go through the curtain into the Most Holy Place, and he may not go near the altar, because he has something wrong with him. He must not make my Holy Place unfit. I am the Lord who makes these places holy.’”
So Moses told these things to Aaron, Aaron’s sons, and all the people of Israel.
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.