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
The people refused to enter the pleasant land,
for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
Instead, they grumbled in their tents
and refused to obey the Lord.
Therefore, he solemnly swore
that he would kill them in the wilderness,
that he would scatter their descendants among the nations,
exiling them to distant lands.
Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor;
they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
They angered the Lord with all these things,
so a plague broke out among them.
But Phinehas had the courage to intervene,
and the plague was stopped.
So he has been regarded as a righteous man
ever since that time.
At Meribah, too, they angered the Lord,
causing Moses serious trouble.
They made Moses angry,
and he spoke foolishly.
Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land,
as the Lord had commanded them.
Instead, they mingled among the pagans
and adopted their evil customs.
They worshiped their idols,
which led to their downfall.
They even sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons.
They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters.
By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan,
they polluted the land with murder.
They defiled themselves by their evil deeds,
and their love of idols was adultery in the Lord’s sight.
That is why the Lord’s anger burned against his people,
and he abhorred his own special possession.
He handed them over to pagan nations,
and they were ruled by those who hated them.
Their enemies crushed them
and brought them under their cruel power.
Again and again he rescued them,
but they chose to rebel against him,
and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
Even so, he pitied them in their distress
and listened to their cries.
He remembered his covenant with them
and relented because of his unfailing love.
He even caused their captors
to treat them with kindness.
Save us, O Lord our God!
Gather us back from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting!
Let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!
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
Do not move the stone that marks the border of your neighbour’s land, which people long ago set in place. It marks what you inherit in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your own.
Rules About Witnesses
One witness is not enough to accuse a person of a crime or sin. A case must be proved by two or three witnesses.
If a witness lies and accuses a person of a crime, the two people who are arguing must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and judges who are on duty. The judges must check the matter carefully. The witness who is a liar, lying about a fellow Israelite, must be punished. He must be punished in the same way the other person would have been punished. You must get rid of the evil among you. The rest of the people will hear about this and be afraid, and no one among you will ever do such an evil thing again. Show no mercy. A life must be paid for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot.
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.