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
O Lord, the God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
Arise, O Judge of the earth.
Give the proud what they deserve.
How long, O Lord?
How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?
How long will they speak with arrogance?
How long will these evil people boast?
They crush your people, Lord,
hurting those you claim as your own.
They kill widows and foreigners
and murder orphans.
“The Lord isn’t looking,” they say,
“and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.”
Think again, you fools!
When will you finally catch on?
Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?
Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?
He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
The Lord knows people’s thoughts;
he knows they are worthless!
Joyful are those you discipline, Lord,
those you teach with your instructions.
You give them relief from troubled times
until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
The Lord will not reject his people;
he will not abandon his special possession.
Judgment will again be founded on justice,
and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.
Who will protect me from the wicked?
Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Unless the Lord had helped me,
I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
They gang up against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord is my fortress;
my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
God will turn the sins of evil people back on them.
He will destroy them for their sins.
The Lord our God will destroy them.
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
The Holy Tent
“Make for the Holy Tent ten curtains of fine linen and blue, purple, and red thread. Have a skilled craftsman sew designs of creatures with wings on the pieces of cloth. Make each curtain the same size—forty-two feet long and six feet wide. Sew five curtains together for one set, and sew the other curtains together for the second set. Make loops of blue cloth on the edge of the end curtain of one set, and do the same for the end curtain of the other set. Make fifty loops on the end curtain of the first set and fifty loops on the end curtain of the second set. These loops must be opposite each other. And make fifty gold hooks to join the two sets of curtains so that the Holy Tent is one piece.
“Then make another tent that will cover the Holy Tent, using eleven curtains made from goat hair. All these curtains must be the same size—forty-five feet long and six feet wide. Sew five of the curtains together into one set. Then sew the other six curtains together into the second set. Fold the sixth curtain double over the front of the Tent. Make fifty loops down the edge of the end curtain of one set, and do the same for the end curtain of the other set. Then make fifty bronze hooks and put them in the loops to join the tent together so that the covering is one piece. Let the extra half piece of cloth hang over the back of the Holy Tent. There will be eighteen inches hanging over the sides of the Holy Tent, to protect it. Make a covering for the Holy Tent from sheepskins colored red, and over that make a covering from fine leather.
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 work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you. 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.