Feast: St Mark, Evangelist: St. Mark was the writer of the gospel that bears his name and one of Christ’s 70 disciples that he sent out in Luke 10. Mark was born in Cyrene, Libya and traveled with St.Barnabas and St.Paul on many of their missionary journeys, during which he founded the Church of Alexandria. He died on April 25, 68 A.D. in Alexandria, 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
A song. A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
On the holy mountain
stands the city founded by the Lord.
He loves the city of Jerusalem
more than any other city in Israel.
O city of God,
what glorious things are said of you! Interlude
I will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me—
also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia.
They have all become citizens of Jerusalem!
Regarding Jerusalem it will be said,
“Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.”
And the Most High will personally bless this city.
When the Lord registers the nations, he will say,
“They have all become citizens of Jerusalem.” Interlude
The people will play flutes and sing,
“The source of my life springs from Jerusalem!”
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
Laws for Living
Then God said to Moses, “These are the laws for living that you will give to the Israelites:
“If you buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve you for six years. In the seventh year you are to set him free, and he will have to pay nothing. If he is not married when he becomes your slave, he must leave without a wife. But if he is married when he becomes your slave, he may take his wife with him. If the slave’s master gives him a wife, and she gives birth to sons or daughters, the woman and her children will belong to the master. When the slave is set free, only he may leave.
“But if the slave says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children, and I don’t want to go free,’ then the slave’s master must take him to God. The master is to take him to a door or doorframe and punch a hole through the slave’s ear using a sharp tool. Then the slave will serve that master all his life.
“If a man sells his daughter as a slave, the rules for setting her free are different from the rules for setting the male slaves free. If the master wanted to marry her but then decided he was not pleased with her, he must let one of her close relatives buy her back. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has treated her unfairly. If the man who bought her promises to let the woman marry his son, he must treat her as a daughter. If the man who bought her marries another woman, he must not keep his first wife from having food or clothing or sexual relations. If he does not give her these three things, she may go free, and she owes him no money.
Laws About Injuries
“Anyone who hits a person and kills him must be put to death. But if a person kills someone accidentally, God allowed that to happen, so the person must go to a place I will choose. But if someone plans and murders another person on purpose, put him to death, even if he has run to my altar for safety.
“Anyone who hits his father or his mother must be put to death.
“Anyone who kidnaps someone and either sells him as a slave or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.
“Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.
“If two men argue, and one hits the other with a rock or with his fist, the one who is hurt but not killed might have to stay in bed. Later if he is able to get up and walk around outside with his walking stick, the one who hit him is not to be punished. But he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time, and he must support the injured man until he is completely healed.
“If a man beats his male or female slave with a stick, and the slave dies on the spot, the owner must be punished. But if the slave gets well after a day or two, the owner will not be punished since the slave belongs to him.
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 many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach 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.