CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! 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
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons: ‘The people of Israel will give offerings to me. These offerings are holy, and they are mine, so you must respect them to show that you respect my holy name. I am the Lord.’ Say to them: ‘If any one of your descendants from now on is unclean and comes near the offerings that the Israelites made holy for me, that person must be cut off from appearing before me. I am the Lord.
“‘If one of Aaron’s descendants has a harmful skin disease, or if he discharges a body fluid, he cannot eat the holy offerings until he becomes clean. He could also become unclean from touching a dead body, from his own semen, from touching any unclean crawling animal, or from touching an unclean person (no matter what made the person unclean). Anyone who touches those things will become unclean until evening. That person must not eat the holy offerings unless he washes with water. He will be clean only after the sun goes down. Then he may eat the holy offerings; the offerings are his food.
“‘If a priest finds an animal that died by itself or that was killed by some other animal, he must not eat it. If he does, he will become unclean. I am the Lord.
“‘If the priests keep all the rules I have given, they will not become guilty; if they are careful, they will not die. I am the Lord who has made them holy. Only people in a priest’s family may eat the holy offering. A visitor staying with the priest or a hired worker must not eat it. But if the priest buys a slave with his own money, that slave may eat the holy offerings; slaves who were born in his house may also eat his food. If a priest’s daughter marries a person who is not a priest, she must not eat any of the holy offerings. But if the priest’s daughter becomes widowed or divorced, with no children to support her, and if she goes back to her father’s house where she lived as a child, she may eat some of her father’s food. But only people from a priest’s family may eat this food.
“‘If someone eats some of the holy offering by mistake, that person must pay back the priest for that holy food, adding another one-fifth of the price of that food.
“‘When the Israelites give their holy offerings to the Lord, the priest must not treat these holy things as though they were not holy. The priests must not allow those who are not priests to eat the holy offerings. If they do, they cause the ones who eat the holy offerings to become guilty, and they will have to pay for it. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.’”
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.