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
Praise the Lord; praise God our saviour!
For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude
Our God is a God who saves!
The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death.
But God will smash the heads of his enemies,
crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways.
The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan;
I will bring them up from the depths of the sea.
You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood,
and even your dogs will get their share!”
Your procession has come into view, O God—
the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary.
Singers are in front, musicians behind;
between them are young women playing tambourines.
Praise God, all you people of Israel;
praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life.
Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way.
Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah
and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Summon your might, O God.
Display your power, O God, as you have in the past.
The kings of the earth are bringing tribute
to your Temple in Jerusalem.
Rebuke these enemy nations—
these wild animals lurking in the reeds,
this herd of bulls among the weaker calves.
Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute.
Scatter the nations that delight in war.
Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals;
let Ethiopia bring tribute to God.
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude
Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
Tell everyone about God’s power.
His majesty shines down on Israel;
his strength is mighty in the heavens.
God is awesome in his sanctuary.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
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 Command to Love God
These are the commands, rules, and laws that the Lord your God told me to teach you to obey in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to take. You, your children, and your grandchildren must respect the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I give you so that you will live a long time. Listen, Israel, and carefully obey these laws. Then all will go well for you, and you will become a great nation in a fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.
Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you, and write them on your doors and gates.
The Lord your God will bring you into the land he promised to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he will give it to you. The land has large, growing cities you did not build, houses full of good things you did not buy, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. You will eat as much as you want. But be careful! Do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves.
Respect the Lord your God. You must worship him and make your promises only in his name. Do not worship other gods as the people around you do, because the Lord your God is a jealous God. He is present with you, and if you worship other gods, he will become angry with you and destroy you from the earth. Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah. Be sure to obey the commands of the Lord your God and the rules and laws he has given you. Do what the Lord says is good and right so that things will go well for you. Then you may go in and take the good land the Lord promised to your ancestors. He will force all your enemies out as you go in, as the Lord has said.
In the future when your children ask you, “What is the meaning of the laws, commands, and rules the Lord our God gave us?” tell them, “We were slaves to the king of Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt by his great power. The Lord showed us great and terrible signs and miracles, which he did to Egypt, the king, and his whole family. The Lord brought us out of Egypt to lead us here and to give us the land he promised our ancestors. The Lord ordered us to obey all these commands and to respect the Lord our God so that we will always do well and stay alive, as we are today. The right thing for us to do is this: Obey all these rules in the presence of the Lord our God, as he has commanded.”
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.