Today is the Fifth Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th. During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life. This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.
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
Then Israel arrived in Egypt;
Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
And the Lord multiplied the people of Israel
until they became too mighty for their enemies.
Then he turned the Egyptians against the Israelites,
and they plotted against the Lord’s servants.
But the Lord sent his servant Moses,
along with Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They performed miraculous signs among the Egyptians,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
The Lord blanketed Egypt in darkness,
for they had defied his commands to let his people go.
He turned their water into blood,
poisoning all the fish.
Then frogs overran the land
and even invaded the king’s bedrooms.
When the Lord spoke, flies descended on the Egyptians,
and gnats swarmed across Egypt.
He sent them hail instead of rain,
and lightning flashed over the land.
He ruined their grapevines and fig trees
and shattered all the trees.
He spoke, and hordes of locusts came—
young locusts beyond number.
They ate up everything green in the land,
destroying all the crops in their fields.
Then he killed the oldest son in each Egyptian home,
the pride and joy of each family.
The Lord brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;
and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.
Egypt was glad when they were gone,
for they feared them greatly.
The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering
and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.
They asked for meat, and he sent them quail;
he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven.
He split open a rock, and water gushed out
to form a river through the dry wasteland.
For he remembered his sacred promise
to his servant Abraham.
So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy,
his chosen ones with rejoicing.
He gave his people the lands of pagan nations,
and they harvested crops that others had planted.
All this happened so they would follow his decrees
and obey his instructions.
Praise the Lord!
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
Some people think they are doing right,
but in the end it leads to death.
Someone who is laughing may be sad inside,
and joy may end in sadness.
Evil people will be paid back for their evil ways,
and good people will be rewarded for their good ones.
Fools will believe anything,
but the wise think about what they do.
Wise people are careful and stay out of trouble,
but fools are careless and quick to act.
Someone with a quick temper does foolish things,
but someone with understanding remains calm.
Fools are rewarded with nothing but more foolishness,
but the wise are rewarded with knowledge.
Evil people will bow down to those who are good;
the wicked will bow down at the door of those who do right.
The poor are rejected, even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.
It is a sin to hate your neighbor,
but being kind to the needy brings happiness.
Those who make evil plans will be ruined,
but those who plan to do good will be loved and trusted.
Those who work hard make a profit,
but those who only talk will be poor.
Wise people are rewarded with wealth,
but fools only get more foolishness.
A truthful witness saves lives,
but a false witness is a traitor.
Those who respect the Lord will have security,
and their children will be protected.
Respect for the Lord gives life.
It is like a fountain that can save people from death.
A king is honored when he has many people to rule,
but a prince is ruined if he has none.
Patient people have great understanding,
but people with quick tempers show their foolishness.
Peace of mind means a healthy body,
but jealousy will rot your bones.
Whoever mistreats the poor insults their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
The wicked are ruined by their own evil,
but those who do right are protected even in death.
Wisdom lives in those with understanding,
and even fools recognize it.
Doing what is right makes a nation great,
but sin will bring disgrace to any people.
A king is pleased with a wise servant,
but he will become angry with one who causes him shame.
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…)
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
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.