Year V: Week 22 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: 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 107:17-43

Some were fools; they rebelled
    and suffered for their sins.
They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
    and they were knocking on death’s door.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
    snatching them from the door of death.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
    and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

Some went off to sea in ships,
    plying the trade routes of the world.
They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
    his impressive works on the deepest seas.
He spoke, and the winds rose,
    stirring up the waves.
Their ships were tossed to the heavens
    and plunged again to the depths;
    the sailors cringed in terror.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards
    and were at their wits’ end.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper
    and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness
    as he brought them safely into harbour!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
    and before the leaders of the nation.

He changes rivers into deserts,
    and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
    because of the wickedness of those who live there.
But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
    the dry land into springs of water.
He brings the hungry to settle there
    and to build their cities.
They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
    and harvest their bumper crops.
How he blesses them!
    They raise large families there,
    and their herds of livestock increase.

When they decrease in number and become impoverished
    through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
    causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
But he rescues the poor from trouble
    and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
The godly will see these things and be glad,
    while the wicked are struck silent.
Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
    they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

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 20:1-20

Laws for War

When you go to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots and an army that is bigger than yours, don’t be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you. The priest must come and speak to the army before you go into battle. He will say, “Listen, Israel! Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Don’t lose your courage or be afraid. Don’t panic or be frightened, because the Lord your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies and to save you.”

The officers should say to the army, “Has anyone built a new house but not given it to God? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would get to give his house to God. Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would enjoy his vineyard. Is any man engaged to a woman and not yet married to her? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would marry her.” Then the officers should also say, “Is anyone here afraid? Has anyone lost his courage? He may go home so that he will not cause others to lose their courage, too.” When the officers finish speaking to the army, they should appoint commanders to lead it.

When you march up to attack a city, first make them an offer of peace. If they accept your offer and open their gates to you, all the people of that city will become your slaves and work for you. But if they do not make peace with you and fight you in battle, you should surround that city. The Lord your God will give it to you. Then kill all the men with your swords, and you may take everything else in the city for yourselves. Take the women, children, and animals, and you may use these things the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. Do this to all the cities that are far away, that do not belong to the nations nearby.

But leave nothing alive in the cities of the land the Lord your God is giving you. Completely destroy these people: the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded. Otherwise, they will teach you what they do for their gods, and if you do these hateful things, you will sin against the Lord your God.

If you surround and attack a city for a long time, trying to capture it, do not destroy its trees with an ax. You can eat the fruit from the trees, but do not cut them down. These trees are not the enemy, so don’t make war against them. But you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build devices to attack the city walls, until the city is captured.

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:
Lord Jesus, we thank you for another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize.  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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