Year V: Week 5 of Easter

Tuesday: Morning 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:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

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


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 67 (Deus misereatur)

All:

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 107:1-22

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
    Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
    from east and west,
    from north and south.

Some wandered in the wilderness,
    lost and homeless.
Hungry and thirsty,
    they nearly died.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them straight to safety,
    to a city where they could live.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
    imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
They rebelled against the words of God,
    scorning the counsel of the Most High.
That is why he broke them with hard labor;
    they fell, and no one was there to help them.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
    he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
    he cut apart their bars of iron.

Some were fools; they rebelled
    and suffered for their sins.
They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
    and they were knocking on death’s door.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
    snatching them from the door of death.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
    and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

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

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


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, bring peace to our hearts today. We lay our worries and fears at your feet and take up instead the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light. Forgive us for struggling instead of praying and complaining instead of rejoicing.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Take from our souls the strain and stress and make us content with all you have given and thankful for all you have done.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Take from us the need to be right, the desire to possess and the craving to control.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

Family & Friends

  • We are your hands, your feet, your eyes and your ears. Surrendering ourselves to you today we ask you to live your life through us. Heal through our hands, walk with our feet, see through our eyes and hear through our ears.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • We are your people, your beloved, your body, your church. Surrendering ourselves to you today, we give ourselves as the servants of all.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • We are your watchmen, ambassadors, lovers and friends. Surrendering ourselves to you today, we pour ourselves out as food for the world.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your church is the centre of all your attention. May she be pure from every spot of sin, free from every wrinkle of discord, void of every ungodly desire and empty of all but love for you.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For happy children, zealous youth, strong parents, stable statesmen and wise seniors. Make it so in our day!
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For churches in one accord, leaders of Christ-like stature and communities of godly saints. Make it so in our day!
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

The World

  • Saviour of all, we pray for the nations. Have mercy upon the world in which we live and restore the honour of your name amongst us. You died as a lamb, now roar as a lion, for the banners of the world belong to our God!
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For the continent of Europe today we pray, where once your gospel sounded strong and clear. Reclaim her streets, revive your church, renew her cities and rebuke her folly.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For those fleeing war and poverty, who wander the continent in fear and bewilderment. Find a home for the homeless and shelter for the dispossessed.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For those entrusted with the political future of the EU and United Kingdom and the spiritual future of the continent. May they know your will with clarity and uphold your word with courage.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Jesus, over 50 times in scripture you bring healing to people and groups in need of health and wholeness, today we ask you to heal those who are infected by Covid-19.
             – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Mark 7:1-23

Obey God’s Law

When some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem, they gathered around Jesus. They saw that some of Jesus’ followers ate food with hands that were not clean, that is, they hadn’t washed them. (The Pharisees and all the Jews never eat before washing their hands in the way required by their unwritten laws. And when they buy something in the market, they never eat it until they wash themselves in a special way. They also follow many other unwritten laws, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, and pots.)

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law said to Jesus, “Why don’t your followers obey the unwritten laws which have been handed down to us? Why do your followers eat their food with hands that are not clean?”

Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right when he spoke about you hypocrites. He wrote,

‘These people show honor to me with words,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is worthless.
    The things they teach are nothing but human rules.’

You have stopped following the commands of God, and you follow only human teachings.”

Then Jesus said to them, “You cleverly ignore the commands of God so you can follow your own teachings. Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you, but it is Corban—a gift to God.’ You no longer let that person use that money for his father or his mother. By your own rules, which you teach people, you are rejecting what God said. And you do many things like that.”

After Jesus called the crowd to him again, he said, “Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying. There is nothing people put into their bodies that makes them unclean. People are made unclean by the things that come out of them. [ Let those with ears use them and listen.]”

When Jesus left the people and went into the house, his followers asked him about this story. Jesus said, “Do you still not understand? Surely you know that nothing that enters someone from the outside can make that person unclean. It does not go into the mind, but into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body.” (When Jesus said this, he meant that no longer was any food unclean for people to eat.)

And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean. All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean.”

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


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Encouragement.

Mindful that God has “made all things richly to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17), I choose a life-affirming attitude that encourages, celebrates and blesses all that is noble in life. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I celebrate all that is good in others and take pleasure in the happiness of those around me.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Encouragement.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Risen Christ,
For whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
Open the doors of our hearts,
That we may seek the good of others,
And walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
To the praise of God the Father. Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the God of peace,
Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
That great shepherd of the sheep,
Through the blood of the eternal covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will. 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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