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
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.
Sing praises to God, our strength.
Sing to the God of Jacob.
Sing! Beat the tambourine.
Play the sweet lyre and the harp.
Blow the ram’s horn at new moon,
and again at full moon to call a festival!
For this is required by the decrees of Israel;
it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.
He made it a law for Israel
when he attacked Egypt to set us free.
I heard an unknown voice say,
“Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
I answered out of the thundercloud
and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude
“Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings.
O Israel, if you would only listen to me!
You must never have a foreign god;
you must not bow down before a false god.
For it was I, the Lord your God,
who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
“But no, my people wouldn’t listen.
Israel did not want me around.
So I let them follow their own stubborn desires,
living according to their own ideas.
Oh, that my people would listen to me!
Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!
How quickly I would then subdue their enemies!
How soon my hands would be upon their foes!
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him;
they would be doomed forever.
But I would feed you with the finest wheat.
I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”
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
God and Israel Make Their Agreement
The Lord told Moses, “You, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel must come up to me and worship me from a distance. Then Moses alone must come near me; the others must not come near. The rest of the people must not come up the mountain with Moses.”
Moses told the people all the Lord’s words and laws for living. Then all of the people answered out loud together, “We will do all the things the Lord has said.” So Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. And he got up early the next morning and built an altar near the bottom of the mountain. He set up twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then Moses sent young Israelite men to offer whole burnt offerings and to sacrifice young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses put half of the blood of these animals in bowls, and he sprinkled the other half of the blood on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Agreement and read it so the people could hear him. And they said, “We will do everything that the Lord has said; we will obey.”
Then Moses took the blood from the bowls and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood that begins the Agreement, the Agreement which the Lord has made with you about all these words.”
Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a surface that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the sky! These leaders of the Israelites saw God, but God did not destroy them. Then they ate and drank together.
God Promises Moses the Stone Tablets
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up the mountain to me. Wait there, and I will give you two stone tablets. On these are the teachings and the commands I have written to instruct the people.”
So Moses and his helper Joshua set out, and Moses went up to Sinai, the mountain of God. Moses said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone who has a disagreement with others can take it to them.”
Moses Meets with God
When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. The glory of the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
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…)
Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name. 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.