Year V: Week 4 of Easter

Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 104

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

O Lord my God, how great you are!
    You are robed with honor and majesty.
    You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
    you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
    you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
    flames of fire are your servants.

You placed the world on its foundation
    so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water,
    water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
    at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank
    to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
    so they would never again cover the earth.

You make springs pour water into the ravines,
    so streams gush down from the mountains.
They provide water for all the animals,
    and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds nest beside the streams
    and sing among the branches of the trees.
You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home,
    and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
You cause grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for people to use.
You allow them to produce food from the earth—
    wine to make them glad,
olive oil to soothe their skin,
    and bread to give them strength.
The trees of the Lord are well cared for—
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests,
    and the storks make their homes in the cypresses.
High in the mountains live the wild goats,
    and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes.

You made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to set.
You send the darkness, and it becomes night,
    when all the forest animals prowl about.
Then the young lions roar for their prey,
    stalking the food provided by God.
At dawn they slink back
    into their dens to rest.
Then people go off to their work,
    where they labor until evening.

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
    In wisdom you have made them all.
    The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
    teeming with life of every kind,
    both large and small.
See the ships sailing along,
    and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.

They all depend on you
    to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
    You open your hand to feed them,
    and they are richly satisfied.
But if you turn away from them, they panic.
    When you take away their breath,
    they die and turn again to dust.
When you give them your breath, life is created,
    and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
    The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
The earth trembles at his glance;
    the mountains smoke at his touch.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
    I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;
    let the wicked disappear forever.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

All:
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


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Exodus 29:1-26

Appointing the Priests

“This is what you must do to appoint Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Take one young bull and two male sheep that have nothing wrong with them. Use fine wheat flour without yeast to make bread, cakes mixed with olive oil, and wafers brushed with olive oil. Put these in one basket, and bring them along with the bull and two male sheep. Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Meeting Tent and wash them with water. Take the clothes and dress Aaron in the inner robe and the outer robe of the holy vest. Then put on him the holy vest and the chest covering, and tie the holy vest on him with its skillfully woven belt. Put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. Take the special olive oil and pour it on his head to make him a priest.

“Then bring his sons and put the inner robes on them. Put the headbands on their heads, and tie cloth belts around their waists. Aaron and his descendants will be priests in Israel, according to a rule that will continue from now on. This is how you will appoint Aaron and his sons as priests.

“Bring the bull to the front of the Meeting Tent, and Aaron and his sons must put their hands on the bull’s head. Then kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. Use your finger to put some of the bull’s blood on the corners of the altar, and then pour the blood that is left at the bottom of the altar. Take all the fat that covers the inner organs, as well as the best part of the liver, both kidneys, and the fat around them, and burn them on the altar. Take the bull’s meat, skin, and intestines, and burn them outside the camp. This is an offering to take away sin.

“Take one of the male sheep, and have Aaron and his sons put their hands on its head. Kill it, and take its blood and sprinkle it on all four sides of the altar. Then cut it into pieces and wash its inner organs and its legs, putting them with its head and its other pieces. Burn the whole sheep on the altar; it is a burnt offering made by fire to the Lord. Its smell is pleasing to the Lord.

“Take the other male sheep, and have Aaron and his sons put their hands on its head. Kill it and take some of its blood. Put the blood on the bottom of the right ears of Aaron and his sons and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Then sprinkle the rest of the blood against all four sides of the altar. Take some of the blood from the altar, and mix it with the special oil used in appointing priests. Sprinkle this on Aaron and his clothes and on his sons and their clothes. This will show that Aaron and his sons and their clothes are given to my service.

“Then take the fat from the male sheep, the fat tail, and the fat that covers the inner organs. In addition, take the best part of the liver, both kidneys, and the fat around them, and the right thigh. (This is the male sheep to be used in appointing priests.)

“Then take the basket of bread that you made without yeast, which you put before the Lord. From it take a loaf of bread, a cake made with olive oil, and a wafer. Put all of these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and tell them to present them as an offering to the Lord. Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar with the whole burnt offering. This is an offering made by fire to the Lord; its smell is pleasing to the Lord. Then take the breast of the male sheep used to appoint Aaron as priest, and present it before the Lord as an offering. This part of the animal will be your share.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
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

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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