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
The Lord is king!
Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
exalted above all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Your name is holy!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
and righteousness throughout Israel.
Exalt the Lord our God!
Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
and he answered them.
He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
O Lord our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but you punished them when they went wrong.
Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
for the Lord our God is holy!
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
Clothes for the Priests
“Tell your brother Aaron to come to you, along with his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Separate them from the other Israelites to serve me as priests. Make holy clothes for your brother Aaron to give him honor and beauty. Tell all the skilled craftsmen to whom I have given wisdom to make special clothes for Aaron—clothes to show that he belongs to me so that he may serve me as a priest. These are the clothes they must make: a chest covering, a holy vest, an outer robe, a woven inner robe, a turban, and a cloth belt. The craftsmen must make these holy clothes for your brother Aaron and his sons. Then they may serve me as priests. The craftsmen must use gold and blue, purple and red thread, and fine linen.
The Holy Vest
“Use gold and blue, purple and red thread, and fine linen to make the holy vest; skilled craftsmen are to make it. At each top corner of this holy vest there will be a pair of shoulder straps tied together over each shoulder.
“The craftsmen will very carefully weave a belt on the holy vest that is made with the same materials—gold and blue, purple and red thread, and fine linen.
“Take two onyx stones and write the names of the twelve sons of Israel on them, six on one stone and six on the other. Write the names in order, from the oldest son to the youngest. Carve the names of the sons of Israel on these stones in the same way a person carves words and designs on a seal. Put gold around the stones to hold them on the holy vest. Then put the two stones on the two straps of the holy vest as reminders of the twelve sons of Israel. Aaron is to wear their names on his shoulders in the presence of the Lord as reminders of the sons of Israel. Make two gold pieces to hold the stones and two chains of pure gold, twisted together like a rope. Attach the chains to the two gold pieces that hold the stones.
The Chest Covering
“Make a chest covering to help in making decisions. The craftsmen should make it as they made the holy vest, using gold and blue, purple and red thread, and fine linen. The chest covering must be square—nine inches long and nine inches wide—and folded double to make a pocket. Put four rows of beautiful gems on the chest covering: The first row must have a ruby, topaz, and yellow quartz; the second must have turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; the third must have a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; the fourth must have a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. Put gold around these jewels to attach them to the chest covering. There must be twelve jewels on the chest covering—one jewel for each of the names of the sons of Israel. Carve the name of one of the twelve tribes on each of the stones as you would carve a seal.
“Make chains of pure gold, twisted together like rope, for the chest covering. Make two gold rings and put them on the two upper corners of the chest covering. Attach the two gold chains to the two rings at the upper corners of the chest covering. Attach the other ends of the two chains to the two gold pieces on the shoulder straps in the front of the holy vest.
“Make two gold rings and put them at the two lower corners of the chest covering, on the inside edge next to the holy vest. Make two more gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the shoulder straps in the front of the holy vest. Put them close to the seam above the woven belt of the holy vest. Join the rings of the chest covering to the rings of the holy vest with blue ribbon, connecting it to the woven belt so the chest covering will not swing out from the holy vest.
“When Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will wear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart, on the chest covering that helps in making decisions. This will be a continual reminder before the Lord. And put the Urim and Thummim inside the chest covering so that they will be on Aaron’s heart when he goes before the Lord. They will help in making decisions for the Israelites. So Aaron will always carry them with him when he is before the Lord.
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…)
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. 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.