Year V: Week 1 of Easter

Wednesday: Afternoon 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:
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 144

A psalm of David.

Praise the Lord, who is my rock.
    He trains my hands for war
    and gives my fingers skill for battle.
He is my loving ally and my fortress,
    my tower of safety, my rescuer.
He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.
    He makes the nations submit to me.

O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them,
    mere mortals that you should think about them?
For they are like a breath of air;
    their days are like a passing shadow.

Open the heavens, Lord, and come down.
    Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!
    Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
Reach down from heaven and rescue me;
    rescue me from deep waters,
    from the power of my enemies.
Their mouths are full of lies;
    they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

I will sing a new song to you, O God!
    I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.
For you grant victory to kings!
    You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.
Save me!
    Rescue me from the power of my enemies.
Their mouths are full of lies;
    they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

May our sons flourish in their youth
    like well-nurtured plants.
May our daughters be like graceful pillars,
    carved to beautify a palace.
May our barns be filled
    with crops of every kind.
May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands,
    even tens of thousands,
    and may our oxen be loaded down with produce.
May there be no enemy breaking through our walls,
    no going into captivity,
    no cries of alarm in our town squares.
Yes, joyful are those who live like this!
    Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.

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

Exodus 16:1-20

The People Demand Food

The whole Israelite community left Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which was between Elim and Sinai; they arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt. Then the whole Israelite community grumbled to Moses and Aaron in the desert. They said to them, “It would have been better if the Lord had killed us in the land of Egypt. There we had meat to eat and all the food we wanted. But you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will cause food to fall like rain from the sky for all of you. Every day the people must go out and gather what they need for that day. I want to see if the people will do what I teach them. On the sixth day of each week, they are to gather twice as much as they gather on other days. Then they are to prepare it.”

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites: “This evening you will know that the Lord is the one who brought you out of Egypt. Tomorrow morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard you grumble against him. We are nothing, so you are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” And Moses said, “Each evening the Lord will give you meat to eat, and every morning he will give you all the bread you want, because he has heard you grumble against him. You are not grumbling against Aaron and me, because we are nothing; you are grumbling against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Speak to the whole community of the Israelites, and say to them, ‘Meet together in the presence of the Lord, because he has heard your grumblings.’”

While Aaron was speaking to the whole community of the Israelites, they looked toward the desert. There the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud.

The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel. So tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and every morning you will eat all the bread you want. Then you will know I am the Lord your God.’”

That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost were on the desert ground. When the Israelites saw it, they asked each other, “What is it?” because they did not know what it was.

So Moses told them, “This is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded, ‘Each one of you must gather what he needs, about two quarts for every person in your family.’”

So the people of Israel did this; some people gathered much, and some gathered little. Then they measured it. The person who gathered more did not have too much, nor did the person who gathered less have too little. Each person gathered just as much as he needed.

Moses said to them, “Don’t keep any of it to eat the next day.” But some of the people did not listen to Moses and kept part of it to eat the next morning. It became full of worms and began to stink, so Moses was angry with those people.

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:
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. 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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