Year V: Week 9 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.

Let all Israel repeat:
    “His faithful love endures forever.”
Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat:
    “His faithful love endures forever.”
Let all who fear the Lord repeat:
    “His faithful love endures forever.”

In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
    and the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
    What can mere people do to me?
Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me.
    I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in people.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.

Though hostile nations surrounded me,
    I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.
Yes, they surrounded and attacked me,
    but I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.
They swarmed around me like bees;
    they blazed against me like a crackling fire.
    But I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.
My enemies did their best to kill me,
    but the Lord rescued me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has given me victory.
Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly.
    The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph.
    The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
I will not die; instead, I will live
    to tell what the Lord has done.
The Lord has punished me severely,
    but he did not let me die.

Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,
    and I will go in and thank the Lord.
These gates lead to the presence of the Lord,
    and the godly enter there.
I thank you for answering my prayer
    and giving me victory!

The stone that the builders rejected
    has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
    and it is wonderful to see.
This is the day the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Please, Lord, please save us.
    Please, Lord, please give us success.
Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, shining upon us.
    Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise you!
    You are my God, and I will exalt you!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 5:11-31

Suspicious Husbands

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: ‘A man’s wife might be unfaithful to him and have sexual relations with another man. Her sin might be kept hidden from her husband so that he does not know about the wrong she did. Perhaps no one saw it, and she wasn’t caught. But if her husband has feelings of jealousy and suspects she has sinned—whether she has or not— he should take her to the priest. The husband must also take an offering for her of two quarts of barley flour. He must not pour oil or incense on it, because this is a grain offering for jealousy, an offering of remembrance. It is to find out if she is guilty.

“‘The priest will bring in the woman and make her stand before the LordHe will take some holy water in a clay jar, and he will put some dirt from the floor of the Holy Tent into the water. The priest will make the woman stand before the Lord, and he will loosen her hair. He will hand her the offering of remembrance, the grain offering for jealousy; he will hold the bitter water that brings a curse. The priest will make her take an oath and ask her, “Has another man had sexual relations with you? Have you been unfaithful to your husband? If you haven’t, this bitter water that brings a curse won’t hurt you. But if you have been unfaithful to your husband and have had sexual relations with a man besides him”— the priest will then put on her the curse that the oath will bring—“the Lord will make the people curse and reject you. He will make your stomach get big, and he will make your body unable to give birth to another baby. This water that brings a curse will go inside you and make your body unable to give birth to another baby.”

“‘The woman must say, “I agree.”

“‘The priest should write these curses on a scroll, wash the words off into the bitter water, and make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse. If she is guilty, the water will make her sick. Then the priest will take the grain offering for jealousy from her. He will present it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. He will take a handful of the grain, which is a memorial offering, and burn it on the altar. After that he will make the woman drink the water to see if she is not pure and if she has sinned against her husband. When it goes into her, if her stomach gets big and she is not able to have another baby, her people will reject her. But if the woman has not sinned, she is pure. She is not guilty, and she will be able to have babies.

“‘So this is the teaching about jealousy. This is what to do when a woman does wrong and is unfaithful while she is married to her husband. It also should be done if the man gets jealous because he suspects his wife. The priest will have her stand before the Lord, and he will do all these things, just as the teaching commands. In this way the husband can be proven correct, and the woman will suffer if she has done wrong.’”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus we thank you for the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach towards the prize.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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