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
Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honour.
The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.
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
Shares for Priests and Levites
The priests are from the tribe of Levi, and that tribe will not receive a share of the land with the Israelites. They will eat the offerings made to the Lord by fire, which is their share. They will not inherit any of the land like their brothers, but they will inherit the Lord himself, as he has promised them.
When you offer a bull or sheep as a sacrifice, you must share with the priests, giving them the shoulder, the cheeks, and the inner organs. Give them the first of your grain, new wine, and oil, as well as the first wool you cut from your sheep. The Lord your God has chosen the priests and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and serve the Lord always.
If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he lives and comes to the place the Lord will choose, because he wants to serve the Lord there, he may serve the Lord his God. He will be like his fellow Levites who serve there before the Lord. They all will have an equal share of the food. That is separate from what he has received from the sale of family possessions.
Do Not Follow Other Nations
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, don’t learn to do the hateful things the other nations do. Don’t let anyone among you offer a son or daughter as a sacrifice in the fire. Don’t let anyone use magic or witchcraft, or try to explain the meaning of signs. Don’t let anyone try to control others with magic, and don’t let them be mediums or try to talk with the spirits of dead people. The Lord hates anyone who does these things. Because the other nations do these things, the Lord your God will force them out of the land ahead of you. But you must be innocent in the presence of the Lord your God.
The Lord’s Special Prophet
The nations you will force out listen to people who use magic and witchcraft, but the Lord your God will not let you do those things.
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 Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. 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.