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 the 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
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.
The wicked will not rule the land of the godly,
for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.
O Lord, do good to those who are good,
whose hearts are in tune with you.
But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O Lord.
Take them away with those who do evil.
May Israel have peace!
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 Lord answered, “I have forgiven them as you asked. But, as surely as I live and as surely as my glory fills the whole earth, I make this promise: All these people saw my glory and the miracles I did in Egypt and in the desert, but they disobeyed me and tested me ten times. So not one of them will see the land I promised to their ancestors. No one who rejected me will see that land. But my servant Caleb thinks differently and follows me completely. So I will bring him into the land he has already seen, and his children will own that land. Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, leave tomorrow and follow the desert road toward the Red Sea.”
The Lord Punishes the People
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “How long will these evil people complain about me? I have heard the grumbling and complaining of these Israelites. So tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says. I heard what you said, and as surely as I live, I will do those very things to you: You will die in this desert. Every one of you who is twenty years old or older and who was counted with the people—all of you who complained against me—will die. Not one of you will enter the land where I promised you would live; only Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun will go in. You said that your children would be taken away, but I will bring them into the land to enjoy what you refused. As for you, you will die in this desert. Your children will be shepherds here for forty years. Because you were not loyal, they will suffer until you lie dead in the desert. For forty years you will suffer for your sins—a year for each of the forty days you explored the land. You will know me as your enemy.’ I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will certainly do these things to all these evil people who have come together against me. So they will all die here in this desert.”
The men Moses had sent to explore the land had returned and spread complaints among all the people. They had given a bad report about the land. The men who gave a very bad report died; the Lord killed them with a terrible sickness. Only two of the men who explored the land did not die—Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh.
When Moses told these things to all the Israelites, they were very sad. Early the next morning they started to go toward the top of the mountains, saying, “We have sinned. We will go where the Lord told us.”
But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? You will not win! Don’t go, because the Lord is not with you and you will be beaten by your enemies. You will run into the Amalekites and Canaanites, who will kill you with swords. You have turned away from the Lord, so the Lord will not be with you.”
But they were proud. They went toward the top of the mountains, but Moses and the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord did not leave the camp. The Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those mountains came down and attacked the Israelites and beat them back all the way to Hormah.
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.