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.
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
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!
The Lord looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord.
Terror will grip them,
for God is with those who obey him.
The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
but the Lord will protect his people.
Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When the Lord restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
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
Israel Worships Baal at Peor
While the people of Israel were still camped at Acacia, the men began sinning sexually with Moabite women. The women invited them to their sacrifices to their gods, and the Israelites ate food there and worshiped these gods. So the Israelites began to worship Baal of Peor, and the Lord was very angry with them.
The Lord said to Moses, “Get all the leaders of the people and kill them in open daylight in the presence of the Lord. Then the Lord will not be angry with the people of Israel.”
So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death your people who have become worshipers of Baal of Peor.”
Moses and the Israelites were gathered at the entrance to the Meeting Tent, crying there. Then an Israelite man brought a Midianite woman to his brothers in plain sight of Moses and all the people. Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, so he left the meeting and got his spear. He followed the Israelite into his tent and drove his spear through both the Israelite man and the Midianite woman. Then the terrible sickness among the Israelites stopped.
This sickness had killed twenty-four thousand people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has saved the Israelites from my anger. He hates sin as much as I do. Since he tried to save my honour among them, I will not kill them. So tell Phinehas that I am making my peace agreement with him. He and his descendants will always be priests, because he had great concern for the honour of his God. He removed the sins of the Israelites so they would belong to God.”
The Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was named Zimri son of Salu. He was the leader of a family in the tribe of Simeon. And the name of the Midianite woman who was put to death was Cozbi daughter of Zur, who was the chief of a Midianite family.
The Lord said to Moses, “The Midianites are your enemies, and you should kill them. They have already made you their enemies, because they tricked you at Peor and because of their sister Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader. She was the woman who was killed when the sickness came because the people sinned at Peor.”
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 the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach 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.