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
You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair;
you disciplined me because I needed it.
Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.
Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me;
meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
Let me be united with all who fear you,
with those who know your laws.
May I be blameless in keeping your decrees;
then I will never be ashamed.
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 two people have an argument and go to court, the judges will decide the case. They will declare one person right and the other guilty. If the guilty person has to be punished with a beating, the judge will make that person lie down and be beaten in front of him. The number of lashes should match the crime. But don’t hit a person more than forty times, because more than that would disgrace him before others.
When an ox is working in the grain, do not cover its mouth to keep it from eating.
If two brothers are living together, and one of them dies without having a son, his widow must not marry someone outside her husband’s family. Her husband’s brother must marry her, which is his duty to her as a brother-in-law. The first son she has counts as the son of the dead brother so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel.
But if a man does not want to marry his brother’s widow, she should go to the elders at the town gate. She should say, “My brother-in-law will not carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He refuses to do his duty for me.”
Then the elders of the town must call for the man and talk to him. But if he is stubborn and says, “I don’t want to marry her,” the woman must go up to him in front of the leaders. She must take off one of his sandals and spit in his face and say, “This is for the man who won’t continue his brother’s family!” Then that man’s family shall be known in Israel as the Family of the Unsandaled.
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, you worked with your hands as a carpenter.
May we who labour upon the earth never cease to give you praise,
And know your loving presence with us.
We ask this for your glory. 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.