Year V: Week 20 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 94

Lord, the God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
Arise, O Judge of the earth.
    Give the proud what they deserve.
How long, O Lord?
    How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?
How long will they speak with arrogance?
    How long will these evil people boast?
They crush your people, Lord,
    hurting those you claim as your own.
They kill widows and foreigners
    and murder orphans.
“The Lord isn’t looking,” they say,
    “and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.”

Think again, you fools!
    When will you finally catch on?
Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?
    Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?
He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
    He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
The Lord knows people’s thoughts;
    he knows they are worthless!

Joyful are those you discipline, Lord,
    those you teach with your instructions.
You give them relief from troubled times
    until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
The Lord will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his special possession.
Judgment will again be founded on justice,
    and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

Who will protect me from the wicked?
    Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
    leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
They gang up against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord is my fortress;
    my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
God will turn the sins of evil people back on them.
    He will destroy them for their sins.
    The Lord our God will destroy them.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 14:1-21

God’s Special People

You are the children of the Lord your God. When someone dies, do not cut yourselves or shave your heads to show your sadness. 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.

Do not eat anything the Lord hates. These are the animals you may eat: oxen, sheep, goats, deer, gazelle, roe deer, wild goats, ibex, antelope, and mountain sheep. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof and chews the cud, but you may not eat camels, rabbits, or rock badgers. These animals chew the cud, but they do not have split hoofs, so they are unclean for you. Pigs are also unclean for you; they have split hoofs, but they do not chew the cud. Do not eat their meat or touch their dead bodies.

There are many things that live in the water. You may eat anything that has fins and scales, but do not eat anything that does not have fins and scales. It is unclean for you.

You may eat any clean bird. But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures, red kites, falcons, any kind of kite, any kind of raven, horned owls, screech owls, sea gulls, any kind of hawk, little owls, great owls, white owls, desert owls, ospreys, cormorants, storks, any kind of heron, the hoopoes, or bats.

All insects with wings are unclean for you; do not eat them. Other things with wings are clean, and you may eat them.

Do not eat anything you find that is already dead. You may give it to a foreigner living in your town, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. But you are holy people, who belong to the Lord your God.

Do not cook a baby goat in its mother’s milk.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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