Year V: Week 17 of Ordinary Time

Monday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: St Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist: St. Matthew was the writer of the gospel that bears his name and one of Christ’s 70 disciples that he sent out in Luke 10. Matthew was born in Capernaum and was one of the early disciples of Jesus, and a witness to His ascension. He died in the 1st Century A.D. near Hierapolis.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 53

For the choir director: A meditation; a psalm of David.

Only fools say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
    not one of them does good!

God looks down from heaven
    on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
    if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
    all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
    not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
    They eat up my people like bread
    and wouldn’t think of praying to God.
Terror will grip them,
    terror like they have never known before.
God will scatter the bones of your enemies.
    You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
    When God restores his people,
    Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 1:19-33

Spies Enter the Land

Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and went toward the mountain country of the Amorite people. We went through that large and terrible desert you saw, and then we came to Kadesh Barnea. I said to you, “You have now come to the mountain country of the Amorites, to the land the Lord our God will give us. Look, here it is! Go up and take it. The Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you to do this, so don’t be afraid and don’t worry.”

Then all of you came to me and said, “Let’s send men before us to spy out the land. They can come back and tell us about the way we should go and the cities we will find.”

I thought that was a good idea, so I chose twelve of your men, one for each tribe. They left and went up to the mountains, and when they came to the Valley of Eshcol they explored it. They took some of the fruit from that land and brought it down to us, saying, “It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.”

Israel Refuses to Enter

But you refused to go. You would not obey the command of the Lord your God, but grumbled in your tents, saying, “The Lord hates us. He brought us out of Egypt just to give us to the Amorites, who will destroy us. Where can we go now? The spies we sent have made us afraid, because they said, ‘The people there are stronger and taller than we are. The cities are big, with walls up to the sky. And we saw the Anakites there!’”

Then I said to you, “Don’t be frightened; don’t be afraid of those people. The Lord your God will go ahead of you and fight for you as he did in Egypt; you saw him do it. And in the desert you saw how the Lord your God carried you, like one carries a child. And he has brought you safely all the way to this place.”

But you still did not trust the Lord your God, even though he had always gone before you to find places for you to camp. In a fire at night and in a cloud during the day, he showed you which way to go.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus, we thank you for the work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 17 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 52

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
    Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction.
    Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
    you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
    and lies more than truth. Interlude

You love to destroy others with your words,
    you liar!
But God will strike you down once and for all.
    He will pull you from your home
    and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude

The righteous will see it and be amazed.
    They will laugh and say,
“Look what happens to mighty warriors
    who do not trust in God.
They trust their wealth instead
    and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 1:1-18

Moses Talks to the Israelites

This is the message Moses gave to all the people of Israel in the desert east of the Jordan River. They were in the desert area near Suph, between Paran and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.

(The trip from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea on the Mount Seir road takes eleven days.) Forty years after the Israelites had left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses told the people of Israel everything the Lord had commanded him to tell them. This was after the Lord had defeated Sihon and Og. Sihon was king of the Amorite people and lived in Heshbon. Og was king of Bashan and lived in Ashteroth and Edrei.

Now the Israelites were east of the Jordan River in the land of Moab, and there Moses began to explain what God had commanded. He said:

The Lord our God spoke to us at Mount Sinai and said, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Get ready, and go to the mountain country of the Amorites, and to all the places around there—the Jordan Valley, the mountains, the western hills, the southern area, the seacoast, the land of Canaan, and Lebanon. Go as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land, so go in and take it for yourselves. The Lord promised it to your ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants.”

Moses Appoints Leaders

At that time I said, “I am not able to take care of you by myself. The Lord your God has made you grow in number so that there are as many of you as there are stars in the sky. I pray that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, will give you a thousand times more people and do all the wonderful things he promised. But I cannot take care of your problems, your troubles, and your arguments by myself. So choose some men from each tribe—wise men who have understanding and experience—and I will make them leaders over you.”

And you said, “That’s a good thing to do.”

So I took the wise and experienced leaders of your tribes, and I made them your leaders. I appointed commanders over a thousand people, over a hundred people, over fifty people, and over ten people and made them officers over your tribes. Then I told your leaders, “Listen to the arguments between your people. Judge fairly between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner. When you judge, be fair to everyone; don’t act as if one person is more important than another, and don’t be afraid of anyone, because your decision comes from God. Bring the hard cases to me, and I will judge them.” At that time I told you everything you must do.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 16 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 37:21-40

The wicked borrow and never repay,
    but the godly are generous givers.
Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
    but those he curses will die.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Once I was young, and now I am old.
    Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
    or their children begging for bread.
The godly always give generous loans to others,
    and their children are a blessing.

Turn from evil and do good,
    and you will live in the land forever.
For the Lord loves justice,
    and he will never abandon the godly.

He will keep them safe forever,
    but the children of the wicked will die.
The godly will possess the land
    and will live there forever.

The godly offer good counsel;
    they teach right from wrong.
They have made God’s law their own,
    so they will never slip from his path.

The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
    looking for an excuse to kill them.
But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
    or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

Put your hope in the Lord.
    Travel steadily along his path.
He will honour you by giving you the land.
    You will see the wicked destroyed.

I have seen wicked and ruthless people
    flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
But when I looked again, they were gone!
    Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

Look at those who are honest and good,
    for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
But the rebellious will be destroyed;
    they have no future.

The Lord rescues the godly;
    he is their fortress in times of trouble.
The Lord helps them,
    rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
    and they find shelter in him.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 36:1-13

Land for Zelophehad’s Daughters

The leaders of Gilead’s family group went to talk to Moses and the leaders of the families of Israel. (Gilead was the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, the son of Joseph.) They said, “The Lord commanded you, our master, to give the land to the Israelites by throwing lots, and the Lord commanded you to give the land of Zelophehad, our brother, to his daughters. But if his daughters marry men from other tribes of Israel, then that land will leave our family, and the people of the other tribes will get that land. So we will lose some of our land. When the time of Jubilee comes for the Israelites, their land will go to the tribes of the people they marry; their land will be taken away from us, the land we received from our fathers.”

Then Moses gave the Israelites this command from the Lord: “These men from the tribe of Joseph are right. This is the Lord’s command to Zelophehad’s daughters: You may marry anyone you wish, as long as the person is from your own tribe. In this way the Israelites’ land will not pass from tribe to tribe, and each Israelite will keep the land in the tribe that belonged to his ancestors. A woman who inherits her father’s land may marry, but she must marry someone from her own tribe. In this way every Israelite will keep the land that belonged to his ancestors. The land must not pass from tribe to tribe, and each Israelite tribe will keep the land it received from its ancestors.”

Zelophehad’s daughters obeyed the Lord’s command to Moses.

So Zelophehad’s daughters—Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah—married their cousins, their father’s relatives. Their husbands were from the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph, so their land stayed in their father’s family group and tribe.

These were the laws and commands that the Lord gave to the Israelites through Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 16 of Ordinary Time

Friday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.

The Lord, the Mighty One, is God,
    and he has spoken;
he has summoned all humanity
    from where the sun rises to where it sets.
From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines in glorious radiance.
Our God approaches,
    and he is not silent.
Fire devours everything in his way,
    and a great storm rages around him.
He calls on the heavens above and earth below
    to witness the judgment of his people.
“Bring my faithful people to me—
    those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.”
Then let the heavens proclaim his justice,
    for God himself will be the judge. Interlude

“O my people, listen as I speak.
    Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
    I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
    or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
But I do not need the bulls from your barns
    or the goats from your pens.
For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.
Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.”

But God says to the wicked:
“Why bother reciting my decrees
    and pretending to obey my covenant?
For you refuse my discipline
    and treat my words like trash.
When you see thieves, you approve of them,
    and you spend your time with adulterers.
Your mouth is filled with wickedness,
    and your tongue is full of lies.
You sit around and slander your brother—
    your own mother’s son.
While you did all this, I remained silent,
    and you thought I didn’t care.
But now I will rebuke you,
    listing all my charges against you.
Repent, all of you who forget me,
    or I will tear you apart,
    and no one will help you.
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honours me.
    If you keep to my path,
    I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 35:9-34

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites these things: ‘When you cross the Jordan River and go into Canaan, you must choose cities to be cities of safety, so that a person who accidentally kills someone may run to them for safety. There the person will be safe from the dead person’s relative who has the duty of punishing the killer. He will not die before he receives a fair trial in court. The six cities you give will be cities of safety. Give three cities east of the Jordan River and three cities in Canaan as cities of safety. These six cities will be places of safety for citizens of Israel, as well as for foreigners and other people living with you. Any of these people who accidentally kills someone may run to one of these cities.

“‘Anyone who uses an iron weapon to kill someone is a murderer. He must be put to death. Anyone who takes a rock and kills a person with it is a murderer. He must be put to death. Anyone who picks up a piece of wood and kills someone with it is a murderer. He must be put to death. A relative of the dead person must put the murderer to death; when they meet, the relative must kill the murderer. A person might shove someone or throw something at someone and cause death. Or a person might hit someone with his hand and cause death. If it were done from hate, the person is a murderer and must be put to death. A relative of the dead person must kill the murderer when they meet.

“‘But a person might suddenly shove someone, and not from hatred. Or a person might accidentally throw something and hit someone. Or a person might drop a rock on someone he couldn’t see and kill that person. There was no plan to hurt anyone and no hatred for the one who was killed. If that happens, the community must judge between the relative of the dead person and the killer, according to these rules. They must protect the killer from the dead person’s relative, sending the killer back to the original city of safety, to stay there until the high priest dies (the high priest had the holy oil poured on him).

“‘Such a person must never go outside the limits of the city of safety. If a relative of the dead person finds the killer outside the city, the relative may kill that person and not be guilty of murder. The killer must stay in the city of safety until the high priest dies. After the high priest dies, the killer may go home.

“‘These laws are for you from now on, wherever you live.

“‘If anyone kills a person, the murderer may be put to death only if there are witnesses. No one may be put to death with only one witness.

“‘Don’t take money to spare the life of a murderer who should be put to death. A murderer must be put to death.

“‘If someone has run to a city of safety, don’t take money to let the person go back home before the high priest dies.

“‘Don’t let murder spoil your land. The only way to remove the sin of killing an innocent person is for the murderer to be put to death. I am the Lord, and I live among the Israelites. I live in that land with you, so do not spoil it with murder.’”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 16 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 49

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Listen to this, all you people!
    Pay attention, everyone in the world!
High and low,
    rich and poor—listen!
For my words are wise,
    and my thoughts are filled with insight.
I listen carefully to many proverbs
    and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.

Why should I fear when trouble comes,
    when enemies surround me?
They trust in their wealth
    and boast of great riches.
Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death
    by paying a ransom to God.
Redemption does not come so easily,
    for no one can ever pay enough
to live forever
    and never see the grave.

Those who are wise must finally die,
    just like the foolish and senseless,
    leaving all their wealth behind.
The grave is their eternal home,
    where they will stay forever.
They may name their estates after themselves,
    but their fame will not last.
    They will die, just like animals.
This is the fate of fools,
    though they are remembered as being wise. Interlude

Like sheep, they are led to the grave,
    where death will be their shepherd.
In the morning the godly will rule over them.
    Their bodies will rot in the grave,
    far from their grand estates.
But as for me, God will redeem my life.
    He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude

So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich
    and their homes become ever more splendid.
For when they die, they take nothing with them.
    Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.
In this life they consider themselves fortunate
    and are applauded for their success.
But they will die like all before them
    and never again see the light of day.
People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;
    they will die, just like animals.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 35:1-8

The Levites’ Towns

The Lord spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab across from Jericho by the Jordan River. He said, “Command the Israelites to give the Levites cities to live in from the land they receive. Also give the Levites the pastureland around these cities. Then the Levites will have cities where they may live and pastureland for their cattle, flocks, and other animals. The pastureland you give the Levites will extend fifteen hundred feet from the city wall. Also measure three thousand feet in each direction outside the city wall—three thousand feet east of the city, three thousand feet south of the city, three thousand feet west of the city, and three thousand feet north of the city, with the city in the centre. This will be pastureland for the Levites’ cities.

Cities of Safety

“Six of the cities you give the Levites will be cities of safety. A person who accidentally kills someone may run to one of those cities for safety. You must also give forty-two other cities to the Levites; give the Levites a total of forty-eight cities and their pastures. The larger tribes of Israel must give more cities, and the smaller tribes must give fewer cities. Each tribe must give some of its cities to the Levites, but the number of cities they give will depend on the size of their land.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 16 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name..


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 44

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
    our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
    in days long ago:
You drove out the pagan nations by your power
    and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
    and set our ancestors free.
They did not conquer the land with their swords;
    it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
    and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
    for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.
    You command victories for Israel.
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
    only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
    I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
    you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
    and constantly praise your name. Interlude

But now you have tossed us aside in dishonour.
    You no longer lead our armies to battle.
You make us retreat from our enemies
    and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
You have butchered us like sheep
    and scattered us among the nations.
You sold your precious people for a pittance,
    making nothing on the sale.
You let our neighbours mock us.
    We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
You have made us the butt of their jokes;
    they shake their heads at us in scorn.
We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
    shame is written across our faces.
All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
    All we see are our vengeful enemies.

All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
    We have not violated your covenant.
Our hearts have not deserted you.
    We have not strayed from your path.
Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
    You have covered us with darkness and death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
God would surely have known it,
    for he knows the secrets of every heart.
But for your sake we are killed every day;
    we are being slaughtered like sheep.

Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Get up! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you look the other way?
    Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
Rise up! Help us!
    Ransom us because of your unfailing love.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 33:50-56

On the plains of Moab by the Jordan River across from Jericho, the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you cross the Jordan River and go into Canaan, force out all the people who live there. Destroy all of their carved statues and metal idols. Wreck all of their places of worship. Take over the land and settle there, because I have given this land to you to own. Throw lots to divide up the land by family groups, giving larger portions to larger family groups and smaller portions to smaller family groups. The land will be given as the lots decide; each tribe will get its own land.

“‘But if you don’t force those people out of the land, they will bring you trouble. They will be like sharp hooks in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will bring trouble to the land where you live. Then I will punish you as I had planned to punish them.’”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 16 of Ordinary Time

Tuesday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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 to 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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 43

Declare me innocent, O God!
    Defend me against these ungodly people.
    Rescue me from these unjust liars.
For you are God, my only safe haven.
    Why have you tossed me aside?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?
Send out your light and your truth;
    let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
    to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
    O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Saviour and my God!

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 32:16-33

Then the Reubenites and Gadites came up to Moses and said, “We will build pens for our animals and cities for our children here. Then our children will be in strong, walled cities, safe from the people who live in this land. Then we will prepare for war. We will help the other Israelites get their land, and we will not return home until every Israelite has received his land. We won’t take any of the land west of the Jordan River; our part of the land is east of the Jordan.”

So Moses told them, “You must do these things. You must go before the Lord into battle and cross the Jordan River armed, until the Lord forces out the enemy. After the Lord helps us take the land, you may return home. You will have done your duty to the Lord and Israel, and you may have this land as your own.

“But if you don’t do these things, you will be sinning against the Lord; know for sure that you will be punished for your sin. Build cities for your children and pens for your animals, but then you must do what you promised.”

The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, “We are your servants, and we will do what you, our master, command. Our children, wives, and all our cattle will stay in the cities of Gilead, but we, your servants, will prepare for battle. We will go over and fight for the Lord, as you, our master, have said.”

So Moses gave orders about them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua son of Nun, and to the leaders of the tribes of Israel. Moses said to them, “If the Gadites and Reubenites prepare for battle and cross the Jordan River with you, to go before the Lord and help you take the land, give them the land of Gilead for their own. But if they do not go over armed, they will not receive it; their land will be in Canaan with you.”

The Gadites and Reubenites answered, “We are your servants, and we will do as the Lord said. We will cross over into Canaan and go before the Lord ready for battle. But our land will be east of the Jordan River.”

So Moses gave that land to the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh. (Manasseh was Joseph’s son.) That land had been the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og, king of Bashan, as well as all the cities and the land around them.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 16 of Ordinary Time

Monday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 41

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
    and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
    and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
    and restores them to health.

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
    Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
    “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.
They visit me as if they were my friends,
    but all the while they gather gossip,
    and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
All who hate me whisper about me,
    imagining the worst.
“He has some fatal disease,” they say.
    “He will never get out of that bed!”
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
    the one who shared my food, has turned against me.

Lord, have mercy on me.
    Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
I know you are pleased with me,
    for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
    you have brought me into your presence forever.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 32:1-15

The Tribes East of the Jordan

The people of Reuben and Gad had large flocks and herds. When they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were good for the animals, they came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the people. They said, “We, your servants, have flocks and herds. The Lord has captured for the Israelites a land that is good for animals—the land around Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon. If it pleases you, we would like this land to be given to us. Don’t make us cross the Jordan River.”

Moses told the people of Gad and Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to war while you stay behind? You will discourage the Israelites from going over to the land the Lord has given them. Your ancestors did the same thing. I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look at the land. They went as far as the Valley of Eshcol, and when they saw the land, they discouraged the Israelites from going into the land the Lord had given them. The Lord became very angry that day and made this promise: ‘None of the people who came from Egypt and who are twenty years old or older will see the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These people have not followed me completely. Only Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun followed the Lord completely.’

“The Lord was angry with Israel, so he made them wander in the desert for forty years. Finally all the people who had sinned against the Lord died, and now you are acting just like your ancestors! You sinful people are making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you quit following him, it will add to their stay in the desert, and you will destroy all these people.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus, we thank you for the work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 15 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 39

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do
    and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
    when the ungodly are around me.”
But as I stood there in silence—
    not even speaking of good things—
    the turmoil within me grew worse.
The more I thought about it,
    the hotter I got,
    igniting a fire of words:
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.
Rescue me from my rebellion.
    Do not let fools mock me.
I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,
    for my punishment is from you.
But please stop striking me!
    I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.
When you discipline us for our sins,
    you consume like a moth what is precious to us.
    Each of us is but a breath. Interlude

Hear my prayer, O Lord!
    Listen to my cries for help!
    Don’t ignore my tears.
For I am your guest—
    a traveller passing through,
    as my ancestors were before me.
Leave me alone so I can smile again
    before I am gone and exist no more.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 31:25-54

Dividing the Goods

The Lord said to Moses, “You, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the family groups should take a count of the goods, the men, and the animals that were taken. Then divide those possessions between the soldiers who went to war and the rest of the people. From the soldiers who went to war, take a tax for the Lord of one item out of every five hundred. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, or sheep. Take it from the soldiers’ half, and give it to Eleazar the priest as the Lord’s share. And from the people’s half, take one item out of every fifty. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, or other animals. Give that to the Levites, who take care of the Lord’s Holy Tent.” So Moses and Eleazar did as the Lord commanded Moses.

There remained from what the soldiers had taken 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 women who had not had sexual relations with a man. The soldiers who went to war got 337,000 sheep, and they gave 675 of them to the LordThey got 36,000 cattle, and they gave 72 of them to the LordThey got 30,500 donkeys, and they gave 61 of them to the LordThey got 16,000 people, and they gave 32 of them to the LordMoses gave the Lord’s share to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord had commanded him.

Moses separated the people’s half from the soldiers’ half. The people got 337,500 sheep, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 people. From the people’s half Moses took one item out of every fifty for the Lord. This included the animals and the people. Then he gave them to the Levites, who took care of the Lord’s Holy Tent. This was what the Lord had commanded Moses.

Then the officers of the army, the commanders of a thousand men and commanders of a hundred men, came to Moses. They told Moses, “We, your servants, have counted our soldiers under our command, and not one of them is missing. So we have brought the Lord a gift of the gold things that each of us found: arm bands, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces. These are to remove our sins so we will belong to the Lord.”

So Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, which had been made into all kinds of objects. The commanders of a thousand men and the commanders of a hundred men gave the Lord the gold, and all of it together weighed about 420 pounds; each soldier had taken something for himself. Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from the commanders of a thousand men and the commanders of a hundred men. Then they put it in the Meeting Tent as a memorial before the Lord for the people of Israel.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 15 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 38

A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.

Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage!
Your arrows have struck deep,
    and your blows are crushing me.
Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
    my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
    it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
    because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
    All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
    and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
    My groans come from an anguished heart.

You know what I long for, Lord;
    you hear my every sigh.
My heart beats wildly, my strength fails,
    and I am going blind.
My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease.
    Even my own family stands at a distance.
Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me.
    Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me.
    All day long they plan their treachery.

But I am deaf to all their threats.
    I am silent before them as one who cannot speak.
I choose to hear nothing,
    and I make no reply.
For I am waiting for you, O Lord.
    You must answer for me, O Lord my God.
I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me
    or rejoice at my downfall.”

I am on the verge of collapse,
    facing constant pain.
But I confess my sins;
    I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
I have many aggressive enemies;
    they hate me without reason.
They repay me evil for good
    and oppose me for pursuing good.
Do not abandon me, O Lord.
    Do not stand at a distance, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
    O Lord my saviour.

All:  
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


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Numbers 31:1-24

Israel Attacks the Midianites

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “Pay back the Midianites for what they did to the Israelites; after that you will die.”

So Moses said to the people, “Get some men ready for war. The Lord will use them to pay back the Midianites. Send to war a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel.” So twelve thousand men got ready for war, a thousand men from each tribe. Moses sent those men to war; Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest was with them. He took with him the holy things and the trumpets for giving the alarm. They fought the Midianites as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed every Midianite man. Among those they killed were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, who were the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with a sword.

The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children, and they took all their flocks, herds, and goods. They burned all the Midianite towns where they had settled and all their camps, but they took all the people and animals and goods. Then they brought the captives, the animals, and the goods back to Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the Israelites. Their camp was on the plains of Moab near the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went outside the camp to meet them. Moses was angry with the army officers, the commanders over a thousand men, and those over a hundred men, who returned from war.

He asked them, “Why did you let the women live? They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and turned the Israelites from the Lord at Peor. Then a terrible sickness struck the Lord’s people. Kill all the Midianite boys, and kill all the Midianite women who have had sexual relations. But save for yourselves the girls who have not had sexual relations with a man.

“All you men who killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. On the third and seventh days you and your captives must make yourselves clean. You must clean all your clothes and anything made of leather, goat hair, or wood.”

Then Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who had gone to war, “These are the teachings that the Lord gave to Moses: Put any gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead— anything that will not burn—into the fire, and then it will be clean. But also purify those things with the cleansing water. Then they will be clean. If something cannot stand the fire, wash it with the water. On the seventh day wash your clothes, and you will be clean. After that you may come into the camp.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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