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
Why are the nations so angry?
Why do they waste their time with futile plans?
The kings of the earth prepare for battle;
the rulers plot together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.
“Let us break their chains,” they cry,
“and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
But the one who rules in heaven laughs.
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then in anger he rebukes them,
terrifying them with his fierce fury.
For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne
in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”
The king proclaims the Lord’s decree:
“The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son.
Today I have become your Father.
Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the whole earth as your possession.
You will break them with an iron rod
and smash them like clay pots.’”
Now then, you kings, act wisely!
Be warned, you rulers of the earth!
Serve the Lord with reverent fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,
and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—
for his anger flares up in an instant.
But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
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
Jethro Visits Moses
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was the priest of Midian. He heard about everything that God had done for Moses and his people, the Israelites, and how the Lord had led the Israelites out of Egypt. Now Moses had sent his wife Zipporah to Jethro, his father-in-law, along with his two sons. The first son was named Gershom, because when he was born, Moses said, “I am a stranger in a foreign country.” The other son was named Eliezer, because when he was born, Moses said, “The God of my father is my help. He saved me from the king of Egypt.”
So Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife and his two sons and went to Moses. He was camped in the desert near the mountain of God. Jethro had sent a message ahead to Moses that said, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”
So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. After the two men asked about each other’s health, they went into Moses’ tent. Moses told his father-in-law everything the Lord had done to the king and the Egyptians to help Israel. He told about all the problems they had faced along the way and how the Lord had saved them.
Jethro was very happy to hear all the good things the Lord had done for Israel when he had saved them from the Egyptians. He said, “Praise the Lord. He has saved you from the Egyptians and their king, and he has saved the people from the power of the Egyptians. Now I know the Lord is greater than all gods, because he did this to those who looked down on Israel.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, gave a whole burnt offering and other sacrifices to God. Aaron and all the elders of Israel came to Moses’ father-in-law to eat the holy meal together before 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…)
Lord Jesus, we thank you for another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize. 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.