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
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
I lift my eyes to you,
O God, enthroned in heaven.
We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy,
just as servants keep their eyes on their master,
as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy,
for we have had our fill of contempt.
We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud
and the contempt of the arrogant.
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
The Agreement in Moab
The Lord commanded Moses to make an agreement with the Israelites in Moab in addition to the agreement he had made with them at Mount Sinai. These are the words of that agreement.
Moses called all the Israelites together and said to them:
You have seen everything the Lord did before your own eyes to the king of Egypt and to the king’s leaders and to the whole country. With your own eyes you saw the great troubles, signs, and miracles. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands; you don’t really understand what you see with your eyes or hear with your ears. I led you through the desert for forty years, and during that time neither your clothes nor sandals wore out. You ate no bread and drank no wine or beer. This was so you would understand that I am the Lord your God.
When you came to this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight us, but we defeated them. We captured their land and gave it to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh to be their own.
You must carefully obey everything in this agreement so that you will succeed in everything you do. Today you are all standing here before the Lord your God—your leaders and important men, your elders, officers, and all the other men of Israel, your wives and children and the foreigners who live among you, who chop your wood and carry your water. You are all here to enter into an agreement and a promise with the Lord your God, an agreement the Lord your God is making with you today. This will make you today his own people. He will be your God, as he told you and as he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I am not just making this agreement and its promises with you who are standing here before the Lord your God today, but also with those who are not here today.
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…)
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. 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.