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
A prayer of David.
Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.
Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for I am calling on you constantly.
Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
and you will answer me.
No pagan god is like you, O Lord.
None can do what you do!
All the nations you made
will come and bow before you, Lord;
they will praise your holy name.
For you are great and perform wonderful deeds.
You alone are God.
Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.
With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,
for your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death.
O God, insolent people rise up against me;
a violent gang is trying to kill me.
You mean nothing to them.
But you, O Lord,
are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
Look down and have mercy on me.
Give your strength to your servant;
save me, the son of your servant.
Send me a sign of your favor.
Then those who hate me will be put to shame,
for you, O Lord, help and comfort 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 short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
Gifts for the Lord
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me gifts. Receive for me the gifts each person wants to give. These are the gifts that you should receive from them: gold, silver, bronze; blue, purple, and red thread; fine linen, goat hair, sheepskins that are dyed red; fine leather; acacia wood; olive oil to burn in the lamps; spices for sweet-smelling incense, and the special olive oil poured on a person’s head to make him a priest; onyx stones, and other jewels to be put on the holy vest and the chest covering.
“The people must build a holy place for me so that I can live among them. Build this Holy Tent and everything in it by the plan I will show you.
The Ark of the Agreement
“Use acacia wood and build an Ark forty-five inches long, twenty-seven inches wide, and twenty-seven inches high. Cover the Ark inside and out with pure gold, and put a gold strip all around it. Make four gold rings for the Ark and attach them to its four feet, two rings on each side. Then make poles from acacia wood and cover them with gold. Put the poles through the rings on the sides of the Ark, and use these poles to carry it. These poles must always stay in the rings of the Ark. Do not take them out. Then put in the Ark the Agreement which I will make with you.
“Then make a lid of pure gold for the Ark; this is the mercy seat. Make it forty-five inches long and twenty-seven inches wide. Then hammer gold to make two creatures with wings, and put one on each end of the lid. Attach one creature on one end of the lid and the other creature on the other end. Make them to be one piece with the lid at the ends. The creatures’ wings should be spread upward, covering the lid, and the creatures are to face each other across the lid. Put this lid on top of the Ark, and put in the Ark the Agreement which I will make with you. I will meet with you there, above the lid between the two winged creatures on the Ark of the Agreement. There I will give you all my commands for the Israelites.
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.