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.
O God, listen to my complaint.
Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
Hide me from the plots of this evil mob,
from this gang of wrongdoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their bitter words like arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent,
attacking suddenly and fearlessly.
They encourage each other to do evil
and plan how to set their traps in secret.
“Who will ever notice?” they ask.
As they plot their crimes, they say,
“We have devised the perfect plan!”
Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.
But God himself will shoot them with his arrows,
suddenly striking them down.
Their own tongues will ruin them,
and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
Then everyone will be afraid;
they will proclaim the mighty acts of God
and realize all the amazing things he does.
The godly will rejoice in the Lord
and find shelter in him.
And those who do what is right
will praise him.
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
Laws About Idols
Since the Lord spoke to you from the fire at Mount Sinai, but you did not see him, watch yourselves carefully! Don’t sin by making idols of any kind, and don’t make statues—of men or women, of animals on earth or birds that fly in the air, of anything that crawls on the ground, or of fish in the water below. When you look up at the sky, you see the sun, moon, and stars, and everything in the sky. But don’t bow down and worship them, because the Lord your God has made these things for all people everywhere. But the Lord brought you out of Egypt, which tested you like a furnace for melting iron, and he made you his very own people, as you are now.
The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he swore that I would not cross the Jordan River to go into the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your own. I will die here in this land and not cross the Jordan, but you will soon go across and take that good land. Be careful. Don’t forget the Agreement of the Lord your God that he made with you, and don’t make any idols for yourselves, as the Lord your God has commanded you not to do. The Lord your God is a jealous God, like a fire that burns things up.
Even after you have lived in the land a long time and have had children and grandchildren, don’t do evil things. Don’t make any kind of idol, and don’t do what the Lord your God says is evil, because that will make him angry. If you do, I ask heaven and earth to speak against you this day that you will quickly be removed from this land that you are crossing the Jordan River to take. You will not live there long after that, but you will be completely destroyed. The Lord will scatter you among the other nations. Only a few of you will be left alive, and those few will be in other nations where the Lord will send you. There you will worship gods made by people, gods made of wood and stone, that cannot see, hear, eat, or smell. But even there you can look for the Lord your God, and you will find him if you look for him with your whole being. It will be hard when all these things happen to you. But after that you will come back to the Lord your God and obey him, because the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you. He will not forget the Agreement with your ancestors, which he swore to them.
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.