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!
Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
now and forever.
Everywhere—from east to west—
praise the name of the Lord.
For the Lord is high above the nations;
his glory is higher than the heavens.
Who can be compared with the Lord our God,
who is enthroned on high?
He stoops to look down
on heaven and on earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
even the princes of his own people!
He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.
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
A Person Found Murdered
Suppose someone is found murdered, lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your own, and no one knows who killed the person. Your elders and judges should go to where the body was found, and they should measure how far it is to the nearby cities. The elders of the city nearest the body must take a young cow that has never worked or worn a yoke, and they must lead her down to a valley that has never been ploughed or planted, with a stream flowing through it. There they must break the young cow’s neck. The priests, the sons of Levi, should come forward, because they have been chosen by the Lord your God to serve him and to give blessings in the Lord’s name. They are the ones who decide cases of quarrelling and attacks. Then all the elders of the city nearest the murdered person should wash their hands over the young cow whose neck was broken in the valley. They should declare: “We did not kill this person, and we did not see it happen. Lord, remove this sin from your people Israel, whom you have saved. Don’t blame your people, the Israelites, for the murder of this innocent person.” And so the murder will be paid for. Then you will have removed from yourselves the guilt of murdering an innocent person, because you will be doing what the Lord says is right.
Captive Women as Wives
When you go to war against your enemies, the Lord will help you defeat them so that you will take them captive. If you see a beautiful woman among the captives and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home, where she must shave her head and cut her nails and change the clothes she was wearing when you captured her. After she has lived in your house and cried for her parents for a month, you may marry her. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife. But if you are not pleased with her, you must let her go anywhere she wants. You must not sell her for money or make her a slave, because you have taken away her honour.
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 work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you. 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.