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.
God presides over heaven’s court;
he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:
“How long will you hand down unjust decisions
by favouring the wicked? Interlude
“Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless;
deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
But these oppressors know nothing;
they are so ignorant!
They wander about in darkness,
while the whole world is shaken to the core.
I say, ‘You are gods;
you are all children of the Most High.
But you will die like mere mortals
and fall like every other ruler.’”
Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to you.
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
Great Things Israel Saw
Love the Lord your God and always obey his orders, rules, laws, and commands. Remember today it was not your children who saw and felt the correction of the Lord your God. They did not see his majesty, his power, his strength, or his signs and the things he did in Egypt to the king and his whole country. They did not see what he did to the Egyptian army, its horses and chariots, when he drowned them in the Red Sea as they were chasing you. The Lord ruined them forever. They did not see what he did for you in the desert until you arrived here. They did not see what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the ground opened up and swallowed them, their families, their tents, and everyone who stood with them in Israel. It was you who saw all these great things the Lord has done.
So obey all the commands I am giving you today so that you will be strong and can go in and take the land you are going to take as your own. Then you will live a long time in the land that the Lord promised to give to your ancestors and their descendants, a fertile land. The land you are going to take is not like Egypt, where you were. There you had to plant your seed and water it, like a vegetable garden, by using your feet. But the land that you will soon cross the Jordan River to take is a land of hills and valleys, a land that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for. His eyes are on it continually, and he watches it from the beginning of the year to the end.
If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today and love the Lord your God and serve him with your whole being, then he will send rain on your land at the right time, in the fall and spring, and you will be able to gather your grain, new wine, and oil. He will put grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will have plenty to eat.
Be careful, or you will be fooled and will turn away to serve and worship other gods. If you do, the Lord will become angry with you and will shut the heavens so it will not rain. Then the land will not grow crops, and you will soon die in the good land the Lord is giving you.
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.