Year V: Week 4 of Epiphany

Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World. The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry. The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through Paul’s letter’s.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 56

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. To be sung to the tune “Dove on Distant Oaks.”

O God, have mercy on me,
    for people are hounding me.
    My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
    and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
    I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?

They are always twisting what I say;
    they spend their days plotting to harm me.
They come together to spy on me—
    watching my every step, eager to kill me.
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
    in your anger, O God, bring them down.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
    This I know: God is on my side!
I praise God for what he has promised;
    yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?

I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
    and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
For you have rescued me from death;
    you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
    in your life-giving light.

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

Genesis 32:1-21

Jacob Meets Esau

When Jacob also went his way, the angels of God met him. When he saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.

Jacob’s brother Esau was living in the area called Seir in the country of Edom. Jacob sent messengers to Esau, telling them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘This is what Jacob, your servant, says: I have lived with Laban and have remained there until now. I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants. I send this message to you and ask you to accept us.’”

The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.”

Then Jacob was very afraid and worried. He divided the people who were with him and all the flocks, herds, and camels into two camps. Jacob thought, “Esau might come and destroy one camp, but the other camp can run away and be saved.”

Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham! God of my father Isaac! Lord, you told me to return to my country and my family. You said that you would treat me well. I am not worthy of the kindness and continual goodness you have shown me. The first time I traveled across the Jordan River, I had only my walking stick, but now I own enough to have two camps. Please save me from my brother Esau. I am afraid he will come and kill all of us, even the mothers with the children. You said to me, ‘I will treat you well and will make your children as many as the sand of the seashore. There will be too many to count.’”

Jacob stayed there for the night and prepared a gift for Esau from what he had with him: two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred female sheep and twenty male sheep, thirty female camels and their young, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys. Jacob gave each separate flock of animals to one of his servants and said to them, “Go ahead of me and keep some space between each herd.” Jacob gave them their orders. To the servant with the first group of animals he said, “My brother Esau will come to you and ask, ‘Whose servant are you? Where are you going and whose animals are these?’ Then you will answer, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He sent them as a gift to you, my master Esau, and he also is coming behind us.’”

Jacob ordered the second servant, the third servant, and all the other servants to do the same thing. He said, “Say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. Say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” Jacob thought, “If I send these gifts ahead of me, maybe Esau will forgive me. Then when I see him, perhaps he will accept me.” So Jacob sent the gifts to Esau, but he himself stayed that night in 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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