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
You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace.
You see all that my enemies are doing.
Their insults have broken my heart,
and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
if only one would turn and comfort me.
But instead, they give me poison for food;
they offer me sour wine for my thirst.
Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
and their prosperity become a trap.
Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and make their bodies shake continually.
Pour out your fury on them;
consume them with your burning anger.
Let their homes become desolate
and their tents be deserted.
To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
Pile their sins up high,
and don’t let them go free.
Erase their names from the Book of Life;
don’t let them be counted among the righteous.
I am suffering and in pain.
Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
and I will honour him with thanksgiving.
For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
he does not despise his imprisoned people.
Praise him, O heaven and earth,
the seas and all that move in them.
For God will save Jerusalem
and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
and settle in their own land.
The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
and those who love him will live there in safety.
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
You Are God’s People
The Lord your God will bring you into the land that you are entering and that you will have as your own. As you go in, he will force out these nations: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—seven nations that are stronger than you. The Lord your God will hand these nations over to you, and when you defeat them, you must destroy them completely. Do not make a peace treaty with them or show them any mercy. Do not marry any of them, or let your daughters marry their sons, or let your sons marry their daughters. If you do, those people will turn your children away from me, to begin serving other gods. Then the Lord will be very angry with you, and he will quickly destroy you. This is what you must do to those people: Tear down their altars, smash their holy stone pillars, cut down their Asherah idols, and burn their idols in the fire. You are holy people who belong to the Lord your God. He has chosen you from all the people on earth to be his very own.
The Lord did not care for you and choose you because there were many of you—you are the smallest nation of all. But the Lord chose you because he loved you, and he kept his promise to your ancestors. So he brought you out of Egypt by his great power and freed you from the land of slavery, from the power of the king of Egypt. So know that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God. He will keep his agreement of love for a thousand lifetimes for people who love him and obey his commands. But he will pay back those people who hate him. He will destroy them, and he will not be slow to pay back those who hate him. So be careful to obey the commands, rules, and laws I give you today.
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.