Monday of Holy Week: This week is what is commonly referred to as Holy Week; the final week of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday. During this time we focus on the last few days of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the events leading up to and including his death. This morning we focus on the Cursing of the Fig Tree and the Cleansing of the Temple. Our afternoon readings continue to tell the story of the liberation of the Children of Israel in their Exodus from Egypt.
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 love song to be sung to the tune “Lilies.” A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
Beautiful words stir my heart.
I will recite a lovely poem about the king,
for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.
You are the most handsome of all.
Gracious words stream from your lips.
God himself has blessed you forever.
Put on your sword, O mighty warrior!
You are so glorious, so majestic!
In your majesty, ride out to victory,
defending truth, humility, and justice.
Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts.
The nations fall beneath your feet.
Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you,
pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.
Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes.
In ivory palaces the music of strings entertains you.
Kings’ daughters are among your noble women.
At your right side stands the queen,
wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir!
Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
Forget your people and your family far away.
For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
The princess of Tyre will shower you with gifts.
The wealthy will beg your favor.
The bride, a princess, looks glorious
in her golden gown.
In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king,
accompanied by her bridesmaids.
What a joyful and enthusiastic procession
as they enter the king’s palace!
Your sons will become kings like their father.
You will make them rulers over many lands.
I will bring honor to your name in every generation.
Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.
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
The Death of the Firstborn
Now the Lord had told Moses, “I have one more way to punish the king and the people of Egypt. After this, the king will send all of you away from Egypt. When he does, he will force you to leave completely. Tell the men and women of Israel to ask their neighbors for things made of silver and gold.” The Lord had caused the Egyptians to respect the Israelites, and both the king’s officers and the Egyptian people considered Moses to be a great man.
So Moses said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight tonight I will go through all Egypt. Every firstborn son in the land of Egypt will die—from the firstborn son of the king, who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl grinding grain. Also the firstborn farm animals will die. There will be loud outcries everywhere in Egypt, worse than any time before or after this. But not even a dog will bark at the Israelites or their animals.’ Then you will know that the Lord treats Israel differently from Egypt. All your officers will come to me. They will bow facedown to the ground before me and say, ‘Leave and take all your people with you.’ After that, I will leave.” Then Moses very angrily left the king.
The Lord had told Moses, “The king will not listen to you and Aaron so that I may do many miracles in the land of Egypt.” Moses and Aaron did all these great miracles in front of the king. But the Lord made him stubborn, and the king would not let the Israelites leave his country.
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, we thank you for the work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you. 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.