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 to 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
Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
You said, “I have raised up a warrior.
I have selected him from the common people to be king.
I have found my servant David.
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
I will steady him with my hand;
with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
His enemies will not defeat him,
nor will the wicked overpower him.
I will beat down his adversaries before him
and destroy those who hate him.
My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and by my authority he will grow in power.
I will extend his rule over the sea,
his dominion over the rivers.
And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
I will make him my firstborn son,
the mightiest king on earth.
I will love him and be kind to him forever;
my covenant with him will never end.
I will preserve an heir for him;
his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven.
But if his descendants forsake my instructions
and fail to obey my regulations,
if they do not obey my decrees
and fail to keep my commands,
then I will punish their sin with the rod,
and their disobedience with beating.
But I will never stop loving him
nor fail to keep my promise to him.
No, I will not break my covenant;
I will not take back a single word I said.
I have sworn an oath to David,
and in my holiness I cannot lie:
His dynasty will go on forever;
his kingdom will endure as the sun.
It will be as eternal as the moon,
my faithful witness in the sky!” Interlude
But now you have rejected him and cast him off.
You are angry with your anointed king.
You have renounced your covenant with him;
you have thrown his crown in the dust.
You have broken down the walls protecting him
and ruined every fort defending him.
Everyone who comes along has robbed him,
and he has become a joke to his neighbours.
You have strengthened his enemies
and made them all rejoice.
You have made his sword useless
and refused to help him in battle.
You have ended his splendour
and overturned his throne.
You have made him old before his time
and publicly disgraced him. Interlude
O Lord, how long will this go on?
Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your anger burn like fire?
Remember how short my life is,
how empty and futile this human existence!
No one can live forever; all will die.
No one can escape the power of the grave. Interlude
Lord, where is your unfailing love?
You promised it to David with a faithful pledge.
Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced!
I carry in my heart the insults of so many people.
Your enemies have mocked me, O Lord;
they mock your anointed king wherever he goes.
Praise the Lord forever!
Amen and amen!
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
When the Lord your God enlarges your country as he has promised, and you want some meat so you say, “I want some meat,” you may eat as much meat as you want. If the Lord your God chooses a place where he is to be worshiped that is too far away from you, you may kill animals from your herds and flocks, which the Lord has given to you. I have commanded that you may do this. You may eat as much of them as you want in your own towns, as you would eat gazelle or deer meat. Both clean and unclean people may eat this meat, but be sure you don’t eat the blood, because the life is in the blood. Don’t eat the life with the meat. Don’t eat the blood, but pour it out on the ground like water. If you don’t eat it, things will go well for you and your children, because you will be doing what the Lord says is right.
Take your holy things and the things you have promised to give, and go to the place the Lord will choose. Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices should be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. Be careful to obey all the rules I am giving you so that things will always go well for you and your children, and you will be doing what the Lord your God says is good and right.
You will enter the land and take it away from the nations that the Lord your God will destroy ahead of you. When you force them out and live in their land, they will be destroyed for you, but be careful not to be trapped by asking about their gods. Don’t say, “How do these nations worship? I will do the same.” Don’t worship the Lord your God that way, because the Lord hates the evil ways they worship their gods. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods!
Be sure to do everything I have commanded you. Do not add anything to it, and do not take anything away from it.
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, you worked with your hands as a carpenter.
May we who labour upon the earth never cease to give you praise,
And know your loving presence with us.
We ask this for your glory. 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.