Year IV: Week 5 of Easter

Tuesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 67 (Deus misereatur)

All:

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear 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


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 20

The Assurance of God’s Saving Work
To theChief Musician. A Psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

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

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


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, bring peace to our hearts today. We lay our worries and fears at your feet and take up instead the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light. Forgive us for struggling instead of praying and complaining instead of rejoicing.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Take from our souls the strain and stress and make us content with all you have given and thankful for all you have done.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Take from us the need to be right, the desire to possess and the craving to control.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

Family & Friends

  • We are your hands, your feet, your eyes and your ears. Surrendering ourselves to you today we ask you to live your life through us. Heal through our hands, walk with our feet, see through our eyes and hear through our ears.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • We are your people, your beloved, your body, your church. Surrendering ourselves to you today, we give ourselves as the servants of all.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • We are your watchmen, ambassadors, lovers and friends. Surrendering ourselves to you today, we pour ourselves out as food for the world.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your church is the centre of all your attention. May she be pure from every spot of sin, free from every wrinkle of discord, void of every ungodly desire and empty of all but love for you.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For happy children, zealous youth, strong parents, stable statesmen and wise seniors. Make it so in our day!
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For churches in one accord, leaders of Christ-like stature and communities of godly saints. Make it so in our day!
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

The World

  • Saviour of all, we pray for the nations. Have mercy upon the world in which we live and restore the honour of your name amongst us. You died as a lamb, now roar as a lion, for the banners of the world belong to our God!
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For the continent of Europe today we pray, where once your gospel sounded strong and clear. Reclaim her streets, revive your church, renew her cities and rebuke her folly.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For those fleeing war and poverty, who wander the continent in fear and bewilderment. Find a home for the homeless and shelter for the dispossessed.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For those entrusted with the political future of the Union and the spiritual future of the continent. May they know your will with clarity and uphold your word with courage.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Mark 7:1-23

Traditions and Commandments

Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the market-place, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honours me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honour your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

What Defiles a Person

And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

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


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Encouragement.

Mindful that God has “made all things richly to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17), I choose a life-affirming attitude that encourages, celebrates and blesses all that is noble in life. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I celebrate all that is good in others and take pleasure in the happiness of those around me.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Encouragement.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Risen Christ,
For whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
Open the doors of our hearts,
That we may seek the good of others,
And walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
To the praise of God the Father. Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the God of peace,
Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
That great shepherd of the sheep,
Through the blood of the eternal covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will. 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.

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