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.
Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.
The wicked will not rule the land of the godly,
for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.
O Lord, do good to those who are good,
whose hearts are in tune with you.
But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O Lord.
Take them away with those who do evil.
May Israel have peace!
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
You know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries when we came here. You saw their hateful idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. Make sure no man, woman, family group, or tribe among you leaves the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. They would be to you like a plant that grows bitter, poisonous fruit.
These are the kind of people who hear these curses but bless themselves, thinking, “We will be safe even though we continue doing what we want to do.” Those people may destroy all of your land, both wet and dry. The Lord will not forgive them. His anger will be like a burning fire against those people, and all the curses written in this book will come on them. The Lord will destroy any memory of them on the earth. He will separate them from all the tribes of Israel for punishment. All the curses of the Agreement that are written in this Book of the Teachings will happen to them.
Your children who will come after you, as well as foreigners from faraway lands, will see the disasters that come to this land and the diseases the Lord will send on it. They will say, “The land is nothing but burning cinders and salt. Nothing is planted, nothing grows, and nothing blooms. It is like Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed because he was very angry.” All the other nations will ask, “Why has the Lord done this to the land? Why is he so angry?”
And the answer will be, “It is because the people broke the Agreement of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went and served other gods and bowed down to gods they did not even know. The Lord did not allow that, so he became very angry at the land and brought all the curses on it that are written in this book. Since the Lord became angry and furious with them, he took them out of their land and put them in another land where they are today.”
There are some things the Lord our God has kept secret, but there are some things he has let us know. These things belong to us and our children forever so that we will do everything in these teachings.
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 Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. 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.