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
Praise the Lord!
I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!
He gives food to those who fear him;
he always remembers his covenant.
He has shown his great power to his people
by giving them the lands of other nations.
All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Praise him forever!
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
If an ox or sheep has something wrong with it, do not offer it as a sacrifice to the Lord your God. He would hate that.
A man or woman in one of the towns the Lord gave you might be found doing something evil and breaking the Agreement. That person may have served other gods and bowed down to them or to the sun or moon or stars of the sky, which I have commanded should not be done. If someone has told you about it, you must look into the matter carefully. If it is true that such a hateful thing has happened in Israel, take the man or woman who has done the evil thing to the city gates and throw stones at that person until he dies. There must be two or three witnesses that it is true before the person is put to death; if there is only one witness, the person should not be put to death. The witnesses must be the first to throw stones at the person, and then everyone else will follow. You must get rid of the evil among you.
Courts of Law
Some cases that come before you, such as murder, quarrelling, or attack, may be too difficult to judge. Take these cases to the place the Lord your God will choose. Go to the priests who are Levites and to the judge who is on duty at that time. Ask them about the case, and they will decide. You must follow the decision they give you at the place the Lord your God will choose. Be careful to do everything they tell you. Follow the teachings they give you, and do whatever they decide, exactly as they tell you. The person who does not show respect for the judge or priest who is there serving the Lord your God must be put to death. You must get rid of that evil from Israel. Then everyone will hear about this and will be afraid, and they will not show disrespect anymore.
Choosing a King
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, taking it as your own and living in it, you will say, “Let’s appoint a king over us like the nations all around us.” Be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be one of your own people. Do not appoint as your king a foreigner who is not a fellow Israelite. The king must not have too many horses for himself, and he must not send people to Egypt to get more horses, because the Lord has told you, “Don’t return that way again.” The king must not have many wives, or his heart will be led away from God. He must not have too much silver and gold.
When he becomes king, he should write a copy of the teachings on a scroll for himself, a copy taken from the priests and Levites. He should keep it with him all the time and read from it every day of his life. Then he will learn to respect the Lord his God, and he will obey all the teachings and commands. He should not think he is better than his fellow Israelites, and he must not stop obeying the law in any way so that he and his descendants may rule the kingdom for a long time.
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.