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
You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair;
you disciplined me because I needed it.
Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.
Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me;
meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
Let me be united with all who fear you,
with those who know your laws.
May I be blameless in keeping your decrees;
then I will never be ashamed.
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 Israelites Move Camp
The cloud lifted from the Tent of the Agreement on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year. So the Israelites moved from the Desert of Sinai and continued until the cloud stopped in the Desert of Paran. This was their first time to move, and they did it as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The divisions from the camp of Judah moved first under their flag. Nahshon son of Amminadab was the commander. Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar. Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun. Then the Holy Tent was taken down, and the Gershonites and Merarites, who carried it, moved next.
Then came the divisions from the camp of Reuben under their flag, and Elizur son of Shedeur was the commander. Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon. Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of Gad. Then came the Kohathites, who carried the holy things; the Holy Tent was to be set up before they arrived.
Next came the divisions from the camp of Ephraim under their flag, and Elishama son of Ammihud was the commander. Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh, and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin.
The last ones were the rear guard for all the tribes. These were the divisions from the camp of Dan under their flag, and Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was the commander. Pagiel son of Ocran was over the division of the tribe of Asher; Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of Naphtali. This was the order the Israelite divisions marched in when they moved.
Hobab was the son of Reuel the Midianite, who was Moses’ father-in-law. Moses said to Hobab, “We are moving to the land the Lord promised to give us. Come with us and we will be good to you, because the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”
But Hobab answered, “No, I will not go. I will go back to my own land where I was born.”
But Moses said, “Please don’t leave us. You know where we can camp in the desert, and you can be our guide. Come with us. We will share with you all the good things the Lord gives us.” So they left the mountain of the Lord and travelled for three days. The Ark of the Lord’s Agreement went in front of the people for those three days, as they looked for a place to camp. The Lord’s cloud was over them during the day when they left their camp.
When the Ark left the camp, Moses said,
“Rise up, Lord!
Scatter your enemies:
make those who hate you run from you.”
And when the Ark was set down, Moses said,
to the thousands of 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…)
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.