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
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
Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.
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
Every morning each person gathered as much food as he needed, but when the sun became hot, it melted away.
On the sixth day the people gathered twice as much food—four quarts for every person. When all the leaders of the community came and told this to Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded, because tomorrow is the Sabbath, the Lord’s holy day of rest. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil today. Save the rest of the food until tomorrow morning.”
So the people saved it until the next morning, as Moses had commanded, and none of it began to stink or have worms in it. Moses told the people, “Eat the food you gathered yesterday. Today is a Sabbath, the Lord’s day of rest; you will not find any out in the field today. You should gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day. On that day there will not be any food on the ground.”
On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather food, but they couldn’t find any. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you people refuse to obey my commands and teachings? Look, the Lord has made the Sabbath a day of rest for you. So on the sixth day he will give you enough food for two days, but on the seventh day each of you must stay where you are. Do not go anywhere.” So the people rested on the seventh day.
The people of Israel called the food manna. It was like small white seeds and tasted like wafers made with honey.
Then Moses said, “The Lord said, ‘Save two quarts of this food for your descendants. Then they can see the food I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.’”
Moses told Aaron, “Take a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then place it before the Lord, and save it for your descendants.” So Aaron did what the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the jar of manna in front of the Agreement to keep it safe. The Israelites ate manna for forty years, until they came to the land where they settled—the edge of the land of Canaan. The measure they used for the manna was two quarts, or one-tenth of an ephah.
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…)
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. 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.