Feast: St Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist: St. Matthew was the writer of the gospel that bears his name and one of Christ’s 70 disciples that he sent out in Luke 10. Matthew was born in Capernaum and was one of the early disciples of Jesus, and a witness to His ascension. He died in the 1st Century A.D. near Hierapolis.
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
For the choir director: A meditation; a psalm of David.
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!
God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to God.
Terror will grip them,
terror like they have never known before.
God will scatter the bones of your enemies.
You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When God restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
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
Spies Enter the Land
Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and went toward the mountain country of the Amorite people. We went through that large and terrible desert you saw, and then we came to Kadesh Barnea. I said to you, “You have now come to the mountain country of the Amorites, to the land the Lord our God will give us. Look, here it is! Go up and take it. The Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you to do this, so don’t be afraid and don’t worry.”
Then all of you came to me and said, “Let’s send men before us to spy out the land. They can come back and tell us about the way we should go and the cities we will find.”
I thought that was a good idea, so I chose twelve of your men, one for each tribe. They left and went up to the mountains, and when they came to the Valley of Eshcol they explored it. They took some of the fruit from that land and brought it down to us, saying, “It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.”
Israel Refuses to Enter
But you refused to go. You would not obey the command of the Lord your God, but grumbled in your tents, saying, “The Lord hates us. He brought us out of Egypt just to give us to the Amorites, who will destroy us. Where can we go now? The spies we sent have made us afraid, because they said, ‘The people there are stronger and taller than we are. The cities are big, with walls up to the sky. And we saw the Anakites there!’”
Then I said to you, “Don’t be frightened; don’t be afraid of those people. The Lord your God will go ahead of you and fight for you as he did in Egypt; you saw him do it. And in the desert you saw how the Lord your God carried you, like one carries a child. And he has brought you safely all the way to this place.”
But you still did not trust the Lord your God, even though he had always gone before you to find places for you to camp. In a fire at night and in a cloud during the day, he showed you which way to go.
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.