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
Then Israel arrived in Egypt;
Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
And the Lord multiplied the people of Israel
until they became too mighty for their enemies.
Then he turned the Egyptians against the Israelites,
and they plotted against the Lord’s servants.
But the Lord sent his servant Moses,
along with Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They performed miraculous signs among the Egyptians,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
The Lord blanketed Egypt in darkness,
for they had defied his commands to let his people go.
He turned their water into blood,
poisoning all the fish.
Then frogs overran the land
and even invaded the king’s bedrooms.
When the Lord spoke, flies descended on the Egyptians,
and gnats swarmed across Egypt.
He sent them hail instead of rain,
and lightning flashed over the land.
He ruined their grapevines and fig trees
and shattered all the trees.
He spoke, and hordes of locusts came—
young locusts beyond number.
They ate up everything green in the land,
destroying all the crops in their fields.
Then he killed the oldest son in each Egyptian home,
the pride and joy of each family.
The Lord brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;
and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.
Egypt was glad when they were gone,
for they feared them greatly.
The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering
and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.
They asked for meat, and he sent them quail;
he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven.
He split open a rock, and water gushed out
to form a river through the dry wasteland.
For he remembered his sacred promise
to his servant Abraham.
So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy,
his chosen ones with rejoicing.
He gave his people the lands of pagan nations,
and they harvested crops that others had planted.
All this happened so they would follow his decrees
and obey his instructions.
Praise the Lord!
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
Set aside the breast and the thigh of the sheep that were used to appoint Aaron and his sons as priests. These parts belong to them. They are to be the regular share which the Israelites will always give to Aaron and his sons. It is the gift the Israelites must give to the Lord from their fellowship offerings.
“The holy clothes made for Aaron will belong to his descendants so that they can wear these clothes when they are appointed as priests. Aaron’s son, who will become high priest after Aaron, will come to the Meeting Tent to serve in the Holy Place. He is to wear these clothes for seven days.
“Take the male sheep used to appoint priests and boil its meat in a place that is holy. Then at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, Aaron and his sons must eat the meat of the sheep and the bread that is in the basket. They should eat these offerings that were used to remove their sins and to make them holy when they were made priests. But no one else is to eat them, because they are holy things. If any of the meat from that sheep or any of the bread is left the next morning, it must be burned. It must not be eaten, because it is holy.
“Do all these things that I commanded you to do to Aaron and his sons, and spend seven days appointing them. Each day you are to offer a bull to remove the sins of Aaron and his sons so they will be given for service to the Lord. Make the altar ready for service to the Lord, and pour oil on it to make it holy. Spend seven days making the altar ready for service to God and making it holy. Then the altar will become very holy, and anything that touches it must be holy.
The Daily Sacrifices
“Every day from now on, offer on the altar two lambs that are one year old. Offer one lamb in the morning and the other in the evening before dark. In the morning, when you offer the first lamb, offer also two quarts of fine flour mixed with one quart of oil from pressed olives. Pour out a quart of wine as a drink offering. Offer the second lamb in the evening with the same grain offering and drink offering as you did in the morning. This is an offering made by fire to the Lord, and its smell is pleasing to him.
“You must burn these things as an offering to the Lord every day, from now on, at the entrance of the Meeting Tent before the Lord. When you make the offering, I, the Lord, will meet you there and speak to you. I will meet with the people of Israel there, and that place will be holy because of my glory.
“So I will make the Meeting Tent and the altar holy; I will also make Aaron and his sons holy so they may serve me as priests. I will live with the people of Israel and be their God. And they will know that I am the Lord their God who led them out of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am the Lord their God.
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 another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth 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.