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
Look upon my suffering and rescue me,
for I have not forgotten your instructions.
Argue my case; take my side!
Protect my life as you promised.
The wicked are far from rescue,
for they do not bother with your decrees.
Lord, how great is your mercy;
let me be revived by following your regulations.
Many persecute and trouble me,
yet I have not swerved from your laws.
Seeing these traitors makes me sick at heart,
because they care nothing for your word.
See how I love your commandments, Lord.
Give back my life because of your unfailing love.
The very essence of your words is truth;
all your just regulations will stand forever.
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
Curses for Disobeying
But if you do not obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands and laws I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and stay:
You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
Your basket and your kitchen will be cursed.
Your children will be cursed, as well as your crops; the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks will be cursed.
You will be cursed when you go in and when you go out.
The Lord will send you curses, confusion, and punishment in everything you do. You will be destroyed and suddenly ruined because you did wrong when you left him. The Lord will give you terrible diseases and destroy you from the land you are going to take. The Lord will punish you with disease, fever, swelling, heat, lack of rain, plant diseases, and mildew until you die. The sky above will be like bronze, and the ground below will be like iron. The Lord will turn the rain into dust and sand, which will fall from the skies until you are destroyed.
The Lord will help your enemies defeat you. You will attack them from one direction, but you will run from them in seven directions. And you will become a thing of horror among all the kingdoms on earth. Your dead bodies will be food for all the birds and wild animals, and there will be no one to scare them away. The Lord will punish you with boils like those the Egyptians had. You will have bad growths, sores, and itches that can’t be cured. The Lord will give you madness, blindness, and a confused mind. You will have to feel around in the daylight like a blind person. You will fail in everything you do. People will hurt you and steal from you every day, and no one will save you.
You will be engaged to a woman, but another man will force her to have sexual relations with him. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not get its grapes. Your ox will be killed before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away from you, and it will not be brought back. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will save you. Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will grow tired looking for them every day, but there will be nothing you can do. People you don’t know will eat the crops your land and hard work have produced. You will be mistreated and abused all your life. The things you see will cause you to go mad. The Lord will give you sore boils on your knees and legs that cannot be cured, and they will go from the soles of your feet to the tops of your heads.
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 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
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.