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
I lie in the dust;
revive me by your word.
I told you my plans, and you answered.
Now teach me your decrees.
Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
I weep with sorrow;
encourage me by your word.
Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your regulations.
I cling to your laws.
Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
I will pursue your commands,
for you expand my understanding.
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 escaped slave comes to you, do not hand over the slave to his master. Let the slave live with you anywhere he likes, in any town he chooses. Do not mistreat him.
No Israelite man or woman must ever become a temple prostitute. Do not bring a male or female prostitute’s pay to the Temple of the Lord your God to pay what you have promised to the Lord, because the Lord your God hates prostitution.
If you loan your fellow Israelites money or food or anything else, don’t make them pay back more than you loaned them. You may charge foreigners, but not fellow Israelites. Then the Lord your God will bless everything you do in the land you are entering to take as your own.
If you make a promise to give something to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, because the Lord your God demands it from you. Do not be guilty of sin. But if you do not make the promise, you will not be guilty. You must do whatever you say you will do, because you chose to make the promise to the Lord your God.
If you go into your neighbour’s vineyard, you may eat as many grapes as you wish, but do not put any grapes into your basket. If you go into your neighbour’s grain field, you may pick grain with your hands, but you must not cut down your neighbour’s grain with your sickle.
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.