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
A psalm of Asaph.
O God, pagan nations have conquered your land,
your special possession.
They have defiled your holy Temple
and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
They have left the bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of heaven.
The flesh of your godly ones
has become food for the wild animals.
Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem;
no one is left to bury the dead.
We are mocked by our neighbours,
an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—
on kingdoms that do not call upon your name.
For they have devoured your people Israel,
making the land a desolate wilderness.
Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors!
Let your compassion quickly meet our needs,
for we are on the brink of despair.
Help us, O God of our salvation!
Help us for the glory of your name.
Save us and forgive our sins
for the honour of your name.
Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff,
asking, “Where is their God?”
Show us your vengeance against the nations,
for they have spilled the blood of your servants.
Listen to the moaning of the prisoners.
Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.
O Lord, pay back our neighbours seven times
for the scorn they have hurled at you.
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will thank you forever and ever,
praising your greatness from generation to generation.
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
New Stone Tablets
At that time the Lord said to me, “Cut two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden Ark. I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the first tablets, which you broke, and you will put the new tablets in the Ark.”
So I made the Ark out of acacia wood, and I cut out two stone tablets like the first ones. Then I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. The Lord wrote the same things on these tablets he had written before —the Ten Commandments that he had told you on the mountain from the fire, on the day you were gathered there. And the Lord gave them to me. Then I turned and came down the mountain; I put the tablets in the Ark I had made, as the Lord had commanded, and they are still there.
(The people of Israel went from the wells of the Jaakanites to Moserah. Aaron died there and was buried; his son Eleazar became priest in his place. From Moserah they went to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah they went to Jotbathah, a place with streams of water. At that time the Lord chose the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord. They were to serve the Lord and to bless the people in his name, which they still do today. That is why the Levites did not receive any land of their own; instead, they received the Lord himself as their gift, as the Lord your God told them.)
I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights just like the first time, and the Lord listened to me this time also. He did not want to destroy you. The Lord said to me, “Go and lead the people so that they will go in and take the land I promised their ancestors.”
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…)
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. 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.