We are currently in the season of Lent, which is the traditional 40 days of prayer, fasting, reflection and repentance that precedes the great Easter celebrations. Just as Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness learning to overcome the Enemy, so we set this time aside for spiritual warfare and renewal. It is common during this time to imitate the simplicity of Jesus in the wilderness by abstaining from rich foods and strong drink during this season, and to devote extra time to the practice of the spiritual disciplines.
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
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
Lord, you poured out blessings on your land!
You restored the fortunes of Israel.
You forgave the guilt of your people—
yes, you covered all their sins. Interlude
You held back your fury.
You kept back your blazing anger.
Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Put aside your anger against us once more.
Will you be angry with us always?
Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
Won’t you revive us again,
so your people can rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.
Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
preparing the way for his steps.
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 Tyre
It was the eleventh year of our captivity, on the first day of the month. The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: “Human, the city of Tyre has spoken against Jerusalem: ‘The city that traded with the nations is destroyed. Now we can be the trading center. Since the city of Jerusalem is ruined, we can make money.’ So this is what the Lord God says: I am against you, Tyre. I will bring many nations against you, like the sea beating its waves on your island shores. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers. I will also scrape away her ruins and make her a bare rock. Tyre will be an island where fishermen dry their nets. I have spoken, says the Lord God. The nations will steal treasures from Tyre. Also, her villages on the shore across from the island will be destroyed by war. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
Nebuchadnezzar to Attack Tyre
“This is what the Lord God says: I will bring a king from the north against Tyre. He is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the greatest king, with his horses, chariots, horsemen, and a great army. He will fight a battle and destroy your villages on the shore across from the island. He will set up devices to attack you. He will build a road of earth to the top of the walls. He will raise his shields against you. He will bring logs to pound through your city walls, and he will break down your towers with his iron bars. His horses will be so many that they will cover you with their dust. Your walls will shake at the noise of horsemen, wagons, and chariots. The king of Babylon will enter your city gates as men enter a city where the walls are broken through. The hoofs of his horses will run over your streets. He will kill your army with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall down to the ground. Also, his men will take away your riches and will steal the things you sell. They will break down your walls and destroy your nice houses. They will throw your stones, wood, and trash into the sea. So I will stop your songs; the music of your harps will not be heard anymore. I will make you a bare rock, and you will be a place for drying fishing nets. You will not be built again, because I, the Lord, have spoken, says the Lord God.
“This is what the Lord God says to Tyre: The people who live along the seacoast will shake with fear when they hear about your defeat. Those of you who are injured and dying will groan. Then all the leaders of the seacoast will get down from their thrones, take off their beautiful needlework clothes, and show how afraid they are. They will sit on the ground and tremble all the time. When they see you, they will be shocked. They will begin singing a funeral song about you and will say to you:
‘Tyre, you famous city, you have been destroyed!
You have lost your sea power!
You and your people
had great power on the seas.
You made everyone around you
afraid of you.
Now the people who live by the coast tremble,
now that you have fallen.
The islands of the sea
are afraid because you have been defeated.’
“This is what the Lord God says: I will make you an empty city, like cities that have no people living in them. I will bring the deep ocean waters over you, and the Mediterranean Sea will cover you. At that time I will send you down to the place of the dead to join those who died long ago. I will make you live with the dead below the earth in places that are like old ruins. You will not come back from there or have any place in the world of the living again. Other people will be afraid of what happened to you, and it will be the end of you. People will look for you, but they will never find you again, says the Lord 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…)
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
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.