Feast: St. Luke, Evangelist: St. Luke, the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, is the same “Luke, the beloved physician” that Paul mentions in Colossians 4. Luke (who was most likely a Gentile) joined Paul at Troas in 51 AD and remained his steadfast companion to the end of his life, even during his imprisonment and sufferings, where we read in 2 Timothy 2, “only Luke is with me.” The earliest traditions tell us that he died at 84 AD in Boeotia after settling in Greece to write his Gospel.
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 psalm of David.
O God, whom I praise,
don’t stand silent and aloof
while the wicked slander me
and tell lies about me.
They surround me with hateful words
and fight against me for no reason.
I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations
even as I am praying for them!
They repay evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him.
Send an accuser to bring him to trial.
When his case comes up for judgment,
let him be pronounced guilty.
Count his prayers as sins.
Let his years be few;
let someone else take his position.
May his children become fatherless,
and his wife a widow.
May his children wander as beggars
and be driven from their ruined homes.
May creditors seize his entire estate,
and strangers take all he has earned.
Let no one be kind to him;
let no one pity his fatherless children.
May all his offspring die.
May his family name be blotted out in the next generation.
May the Lord never forget the sins of his fathers;
may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record.
May the Lord always remember these sins,
and may his name disappear from human memory.
For he refused all kindness to others;
he persecuted the poor and needy,
and he hounded the broken-hearted to death.
He loved to curse others;
now you curse him.
He never blessed others;
now don’t you bless him.
Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing,
or the water he drinks,
or the rich food he eats.
Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing;
may they be tied around him like a belt.”
May those curses become the Lord’s punishment
for my accusers who speak evil of me.
But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord,
for the sake of your own reputation!
because you are so faithful and good.
For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is full of pain.
I am fading like a shadow at dusk;
I am brushed off like a locust.
My knees are weak from fasting,
and I am skin and bones.
I am a joke to people everywhere;
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me because of your unfailing love.
Let them see that this is your doing,
that you yourself have done it, Lord.
Then let them curse me if they like,
but you will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
praising him to everyone.
For he stands beside the needy,
ready to save them from those who condemn them.
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
Celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God during the month of Abib, because it was during Abib that he brought you out of Egypt at night. As the sacrifice for the Passover to the Lord your God, offer an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose to be worshiped. Do not eat it with bread made with yeast. But for seven days eat bread made without yeast, the bread of suffering, because you left Egypt in a hurry. So all your life you will remember the time you left Egypt. There must be no yeast anywhere in your land for seven days. Offer the sacrifice on the evening of the first day, and eat all the meat before morning; do not leave it overnight.
Do not offer the Passover sacrifice in just any town the Lord your God gives you, but offer it in the place he will choose to be worshiped. Offer it in the evening as the sun goes down, which is when you left Egypt. Roast the meat and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. The next morning go back to your tents. Eat bread made without yeast for six days. On the seventh day have a special meeting for the Lord your God, and do not work that day.
The Feast of Weeks
Count seven weeks from the time you begin to harvest the grain, and then celebrate the Feast of Weeks for the Lord your God. Bring an offering as a special gift to him, giving to him just as he has blessed you. Rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose to be worshiped. Everybody should rejoice: you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your town, the strangers, orphans, and widows living among you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and carefully obey all these laws.
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.