We are currently in the season of Eastertide. Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, and has been observed from the earliest days of the church. In the Jewish calendar, Jesus died during the Passover Feast, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days later. The church follows this sequence of events, with the season of Eastertide occupying the 50 days between the two great festivals.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
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 Cry for Help
A prayer of a person who is suffering when he is discouraged and tells the Lord his complaints.
Lord, listen to my prayer;
let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide from me
in my time of trouble.
Pay attention to me.
When I cry for help, answer me quickly.
My life is passing away like smoke,
and my bones are burned up with fire.
My heart is like grass
that has been cut and dried.
I forget to eat.
Because of my grief,
my skin hangs on my bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl living among the ruins.
I lie awake.
I am like a lonely bird on a housetop.
All day long enemies insult me;
those who make fun of me use my name as a curse.
I eat ashes for food,
and my tears fall into my drinks.
Because of your great anger,
you have picked me up and thrown me away.
My days are like a passing shadow;
I am like dried grass.
But, Lord, you rule forever,
and your fame goes on and on.
You will come and have mercy on Jerusalem,
because the time has now come to be kind to her;
the right time has come.
Your servants love even her stones;
they even care about her dust.
Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings on earth will honor you.
The Lord will rebuild Jerusalem;
there his glory will be seen.
He will answer the prayers of the needy;
he will not reject their prayers.
Write these things for the future
so that people who are not yet born will praise the Lord.
The Lord looked down from his holy place above;
from heaven he looked down at the earth.
He heard the moans of the prisoners,
and he freed those sentenced to die.
The name of the Lord will be heard in Jerusalem;
his praise will be heard there.
People will come together,
and kingdoms will serve the Lord.
God has made me tired of living;
he has cut short my life.
So I said, “My God, do not take me in the middle of my life.
Your years go on and on.
In the beginning you made the earth,
and your hands made the skies.
They will be destroyed, but you will remain.
They will all wear out like clothes.
And, like clothes, you will change them
and throw them away.
But you never change,
and your life will never end.
Our children will live in your presence,
and their children will remain with you.”
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
Prophecy Against Sidon
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face towards Sidon, and prophesy against her and say, Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I am against you, O Sidon,
and I will manifest my glory in your midst.
And they shall know that I am the Lord
when I execute judgements in her
and manifest my holiness in her;
for I will send pestilence into her,
and blood into her streets;
and the slain shall fall in her midst,
by the sword that is against her on every side.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.
“And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbours who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.
Israel Gathered in Security
“Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgements upon all their neighbours who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”
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 taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.