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
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
and restores them to health.
“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
“How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.
They visit me as if they were my friends,
but all the while they gather gossip,
and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
All who hate me whisper about me,
imagining the worst.
“He has some fatal disease,” they say.
“He will never get out of that bed!”
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
Lord, have mercy on me.
Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
I know you are pleased with me,
for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
you have brought me into your presence forever.
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!
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 Tribes East of the Jordan
The people of Reuben and Gad had large flocks and herds. When they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were good for the animals, they came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the people. They said, “We, your servants, have flocks and herds. The Lord has captured for the Israelites a land that is good for animals—the land around Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon. If it pleases you, we would like this land to be given to us. Don’t make us cross the Jordan River.”
Moses told the people of Gad and Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to war while you stay behind? You will discourage the Israelites from going over to the land the Lord has given them. Your ancestors did the same thing. I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look at the land. They went as far as the Valley of Eshcol, and when they saw the land, they discouraged the Israelites from going into the land the Lord had given them. The Lord became very angry that day and made this promise: ‘None of the people who came from Egypt and who are twenty years old or older will see the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These people have not followed me completely. Only Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun followed the Lord completely.’
“The Lord was angry with Israel, so he made them wander in the desert for forty years. Finally all the people who had sinned against the Lord died, and now you are acting just like your ancestors! You sinful people are making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you quit following him, it will add to their stay in the desert, and you will destroy all these people.”
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 work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you. 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.