Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Thursday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World. The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry. The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through the latter half of the New Testament.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.

O God, pagan nations have conquered your land,
    your special possession.
They have defiled your holy Temple
    and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
They have left the bodies of your servants
    as food for the birds of heaven.
The flesh of your godly ones
    has become food for the wild animals.
Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem;
    no one is left to bury the dead.
We are mocked by our neighbors,
    an object of scorn and derision to those around us.

O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever?
    How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—
    on kingdoms that do not call upon your name.
For they have devoured your people Israel,
    making the land a desolate wilderness.
Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors!
    Let your compassion quickly meet our needs,
    for we are on the brink of despair.

Help us, O God of our salvation!
    Help us for the glory of your name.
Save us and forgive our sins
    for the honor of your name.
Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff,
    asking, “Where is their God?”
Show us your vengeance against the nations,
    for they have spilled the blood of your servants.
Listen to the moaning of the prisoners.
    Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.

O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times
    for the scorn they have hurled at you.
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will thank you forever and ever,
    praising your greatness from generation to generation.

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
(Optional)

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


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Genesis 38:1-30

Judah and Tamar

About that time, Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah in the town of Adullam. There Judah met a Canaanite girl, the daughter of a man named Shua, and married her. Judah had sexual relations with her, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom Judah named Er. Later she gave birth to another son and named him Onan. Still later she had another son and named him Shelah. She was at Kezib when this third son was born.

Judah chose a girl named Tamar to be the wife of his first son Er. But Er, Judah’s oldest son, did what the Lord said was evil, so the Lord killed him. Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and have sexual relations with your dead brother’s wife. It is your duty to provide children for your brother in this way.”

But Onan knew that the children would not belong to him, so when he was supposed to have sexual relations with Tamar he did not complete the sex act. This made it impossible for Tamar to become pregnant and for Er to have descendants. The Lord was displeased by this wicked thing Onan had done, so the Lord killed Onan also. Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Go back to live in your father’s house, and don’t marry until my young son Shelah grows up.” Judah was afraid that Shelah also would die like his brothers. So Tamar returned to her father’s home.

After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah had gotten over his sorrow, he went to Timnah to his men who were cutting the wool from his sheep. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. Tamar learned that Judah, her father-in-law, was going to Timnah to cut the wool from his sheep. So she took off the clothes that showed she was a widow and covered her face with a veil to hide who she was. Then she sat down by the gate of Enaim on the road to Timnah. She did this because Judah’s younger son Shelah had grown up, but Judah had not made plans for her to marry him.

When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, because she had covered her face with a veil. So Judah went to her and said, “Let me have sexual relations with you.” He did not know that she was Tamar, his daughter-in-law.

She asked, “What will you give me if I let you have sexual relations with me?”

Judah answered, “I will send you a young goat from my flock.”

She answered, “First give me something to keep as a deposit until you send the goat.”

Judah asked, “What do you want me to give you as a deposit?”

Tamar answered, “Give me your seal and its cord, and give me your walking stick.” So Judah gave these things to her. Then Judah and Tamar had sexual relations, and Tamar became pregnant. When Tamar went home, she took off the veil that covered her face and put on the clothes that showed she was a widow.

Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat to find the woman and get back his seal and the walking stick he had given her, but Hirah could not find her. He asked some of the people at the town of Enaim, “Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?”

They answered, “There has never been a prostitute here.”

So he went back to Judah and said, “I could not find the woman, and the people who lived there said, ‘There has never been a prostitute here.’”

Judah said, “Let her keep the things. I don’t want people to laugh at us. I sent her the goat as I promised, but you could not find her.”

About three months later someone told Judah, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, is guilty of acting like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant.”

Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned to death.”

When the people went to bring Tamar out, she sent a message to her father-in-law that said, “The man who owns these things has made me pregnant. Look at this seal and its cord and this walking stick, and tell me whose they are.”

Judah recognized them and said, “She is more in the right than I. She did this because I did not give her to my son Shelah as I promised.” And Judah did not have sexual relations with her again.

When the time came for Tamar to give birth, there were twins in her body. While she was giving birth, one baby put his hand out. The nurse tied a red string on his hand and said, “This baby came out first.” But he pulled his hand back in, so the other baby was born first. The nurse said, “So you are able to break out first,” and they named him Perez. After this, the baby with the red string on his hand was born, and they named him Zerah.

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


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:

Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Thursday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World. The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry. The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through the latter half of the New Testament.


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 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

A Call to Worship

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

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 74

A psalm of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejected us so long?
    Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?
Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,
    the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!
    And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth.
Walk through the awful ruins of the city;
    see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.

There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries;
    there they set up their battle standards.
They swung their axes
    like woodcutters in a forest.
With axes and picks,
    they smashed the carved paneling.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground.
    They defiled the place that bears your name.
Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!”
    So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.

We no longer see your miraculous signs.
    All the prophets are gone,
    and no one can tell us when it will end.
How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you?
    Will you let them dishonor your name forever?
Why do you hold back your strong right hand?
    Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.

You, O God, are my king from ages past,
    bringing salvation to the earth.
You split the sea by your strength
    and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and let the desert animals eat him.
You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,
    and you dried up rivers that never run dry.
Both day and night belong to you;
    you made the starlight and the sun.
You set the boundaries of the earth,
    and you made both summer and winter.

See how these enemies insult you, Lord.
    A foolish nation has dishonored your name.
Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves.
    Don’t forget your suffering people forever.

Remember your covenant promises,
    for the land is full of darkness and violence!
Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again.
    Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.

Arise, O God, and defend your cause.
    Remember how these fools insult you all day long.
Don’t overlook what your enemies have said
    or their growing uproar.

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

  • King of all, our lives are open before you and our hearts are laid bare. Renew us to the tasks set before us and restore us in your presence. Come, Holy Spirit and empower us for another day in your service as we cry…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • May we have freedom from lack, deliverance from debt and a hand open and ready to distribute, as we declare…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For bodies that are whole and free from sickness, wisdom in eating and exercise, and courage to endure physical trials as we proclaim…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For courage to deal with the ageing process that ever brings us one step closer to the day we shall join the angels around the throne singing…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, may our families come to the knowledge of God and our friends to the salvation that you bring! May our witness be full of wisdom, our words be seasoned with salt and our care for them be shown by our actions as we say…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • Keep our children and young people in their school. May they be free from bullying and blessed with good friendships. May they find joy in your presence and sing…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For those struggling with family conflict, crisis or who are faithfully caring for family members. May they ever know your song in their hearts…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your Church is the most persecuted organism on the planet today. In the midst of her pain and the terrible price she must pay to continue her testimony, may her people be strong in adversity and kept by the power of God, as she joins heaven’s chorus singing…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For Christians fleeing oppressive regimes and those who have lost their homes and belongings. Restore, O God that which the locust has eaten as we declare…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For places where your people are being systematically persecuted and exterminated. For North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Sudan. May the Lion of Judah roar as we exclaim
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, you revealed yourself to the world as the prince of peace, who would, Judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Amen. So let it be…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For all those involved in bringing peace to places of war and terror. Let the voice of the peacemaker be heard above the voice of the warmonger…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…
  • For the peace of Jerusalem, the salvation of the Jews and the restoration of your people we pray…
             – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord…


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

Luke 14:7-11

Don’t Make Yourself Important

When Jesus noticed that some of the guests were choosing the best places to sit, he told this story: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, don’t take the most important seat, because someone more important than you may have been invited. The host, who invited both of you, will come to you and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed and will have to move to the last place. So when you are invited, go sit in a seat that is not important. When the host comes to you, he may say, ‘Friend, move up here to a more important place.’ Then all the other guests will respect you. All who make themselves great will be made humble, but those who make themselves humble will be made great.”

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 Blessing Creation.

Understanding that the gospel of great joy is good news to all of creation, and that all of creation is made for the pleasure of God, I seek to live in such a way that maximises the happiness and wholeness of all creation; sentient and non-sentient, spiritual and material. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I refuse to engage in any practice that will bring joy to myself only by diminishing the joy of others.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Blessing Creation.


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.)

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is meaningless;
Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift of love,
The true bond of peace and of all virtue,
Without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you.
Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may God the Holy Spirit breathe life to your spirit,
Illumine your mind and bring peace to your heart. 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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Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Wednesday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 31:1-5

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

James 2:14-26

Faith and Good Works

My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. In the same way, faith by itself—that does nothing—is dead.

Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.

You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? Abraham, our ancestor, was made right with God by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. So you see that Abraham’s faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by what he did. This shows the full meaning of the Scripture that says: “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” And Abraham was called God’s friend. So you see that people are made right with God by what they do, not by faith only.

Another example is Rahab, a prostitute, who was made right with God by something she did. She welcomed the spies into her home and helped them escape by a different road.

Just as a person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead, so faith that does nothing is dead!

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


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

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

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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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Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Wednesday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World. The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry. The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through the latter half of the New Testament.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 77

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.

I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
    Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
    I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
    but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan,
    overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude

You don’t let me sleep.
    I am too distressed even to pray!
I think of the good old days,
    long since ended,
when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
    I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
Has the Lord rejected me forever?
    Will he never again be kind to me?
Is his unfailing love gone forever?
    Have his promises permanently failed?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude

And I said, “This is my fate;
    the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
    I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
They are constantly in my thoughts.
    I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

O God, your ways are holy.
    Is there any god as mighty as you?
You are the God of great wonders!
    You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude

When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
    its waters looked and trembled!
    The sea quaked to its very depths.
The clouds poured down rain;
    the thunder rumbled in the sky.
    Your arrows of lightning flashed.
Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
    the lightning lit up the world!
    The earth trembled and shook.
Your road led through the sea,
    your pathway through the mighty waters—
    a pathway no one knew was there!
You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
    with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.

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
(Optional)

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


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Genesis 37:12-36

One day Joseph’s brothers went to Shechem to graze their father’s flocks. Israel said to Joseph, “Go to Shechem where your brothers are grazing the flocks.”

Joseph answered, “I will go.”

His father said, “Go and see if your brothers and the flocks are all right. Then come back and tell me.” So Joseph’s father sent him from the Valley of Hebron.

When Joseph came to Shechem, a man found him wandering in the field and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

Joseph answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing the flocks?”

The man said, “They have already gone. I heard them say they were going to Dothan.” So Joseph went to look for his brothers and found them in Dothan.

Joseph Sold into Slavery

Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. Before he reached them, they made a plan to kill him. They said to each other, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the wells. We can tell our father that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what will become of his dreams.”

But Reuben heard their plan and saved Joseph, saying, “Let’s not kill him. Don’t spill any blood. Throw him into this well here in the desert, but don’t hurt him!” Reuben planned to save Joseph later and send him back to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his robe with long sleeves and threw him into the well. It was empty, and there was no water in it.

While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. When they looked up, they saw a group of Ishmaelites traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh.

Then Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his death? Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” And the other brothers agreed. So when the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well and sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. And the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.

When Reuben came back to the well and Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes to show he was upset. Then he went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is not there! What shall I do?” The brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. Then they brought the long-sleeved robe to their father and said, “We found this robe. Look it over carefully and see if it is your son’s robe.”

Jacob looked it over and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some savage animal has eaten him. My son Joseph has been torn to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes and put on rough cloth to show that he was upset, and he continued to be sad about his son for a long time. All of his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he could not be comforted. He said, “I will be sad about my son until the day I die.” So Jacob cried for his son Joseph.

Meanwhile the Midianites who had bought Joseph had taken him to Egypt. There they sold him to Potiphar, an officer to the king of Egypt and captain of the palace guard.

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


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Wednesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World. The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry. The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through the latter half od the New Testament.


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 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

A Call to Worship

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

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 73

A psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
    My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud
    when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such painless lives;
    their bodies are so healthy and strong.
They don’t have troubles like other people;
    they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
    and clothe themselves with cruelty.
These fat cats have everything
    their hearts could ever wish for!
They scoff and speak only evil;
    in their pride they seek to crush others.
They boast against the very heavens,
    and their words strut throughout the earth.
And so the people are dismayed and confused,
    drinking in all their words.
“What does God know?” they ask.
    “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
Look at these wicked people—
    enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
    Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
I get nothing but trouble all day long;
    every morning brings me pain.

If I had really spoken this way to others,
    I would have been a traitor to your people.
So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
    But what a difficult task it is!
Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
    and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
Truly, you put them on a slippery path
    and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
In an instant they are destroyed,
    completely swept away by terrors.
When you arise, O Lord,
    you will laugh at their silly ideas
    as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

Those who desert him will perish,
    for you destroy those who abandon you.
But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
    and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

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, thank you for awakening us for another day. May we walk mindfully in your presence and meaningfully in the world. Empower us by Your Spirit to do your will and journey in your footsteps…
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • Set our hearts free from greed and craving. May we be content with what we have and have what we need.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • Give us this day our daily bread, and give us also hearts willing to break that bread with others.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, we pray for our own children and for the children of our church. May their hearts be strengthened to resist the devil, to remain on the path and to rest in your love.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For those who, like Jonah are running from the presence of the Lord. Go before them and call them home. Be the Hound of Heaven and never let them go!
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For our young people away at University. Give focus, faith and fearlessness amidst the trials and temptations they may find there.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you prayed that your church might be one, even as you are one with the Father. Unite your people in heart and mind all across this world. Forgive our wilful misunderstanding and parochial suspicions of each other. Let your family dwell in peace!
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, Anglican communion and free churches. Come Holy Spirit.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For the Roman Catholic Church. Bless Pope Francis, and all his ministers. Breathe Spirit of God.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, declaring the ancient faith amidst great trial and persecution.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…

The World

  • Father and creator of mankind, we call on you for a world lost in sin and indifference. Turn your face once more towards the nations. Let your church not sleep in the light all the while the world is asleep in the dark.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • That peace may come to the nations of the world. That war and famine may cease throughout the earth and the terrorist break bread with the terrorised.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For those who will suffer the grief of loss, the pain of separation and the fear of death.
             – Renew! Revive! Restore!…


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

Luke 14:1-6

Healing on the Sabbath

On a Sabbath day, when Jesus went to eat at the home of a leading Pharisee, the people were watching Jesus very closely. And in front of him was a man with dropsy. Jesus said to the Pharisees and experts on the law, “Is it right or wrong to heal on the Sabbath day?” But they would not answer his question. So Jesus took the man, healed him, and sent him away. Jesus said to the Pharisees and teachers of the law, “If your child or ox falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not pull him out quickly?” And they could not answer him.

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 Sowing Seeds of Joy.

Recognising that all people seek happiness, I seek to be a minister of joy to all people, seeking to ease their human suffering and sow seeds of happiness into their lives. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I will learn to share their burdens in order that they may share my joy.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Sowing Seeds of Joy.


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.)

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you:
Mercifully accept our prayers;
And because in our weakness,
We can do nothing good without you,
Give us the help of your grace,
That in keeping your commandments we may please You,
Both in will and deed;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the light of the world be born anew in you today,
That sharing his light, you may be a light in the darkness,
And a bearer of His presence to the world. 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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Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Tuesday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Colossians 4:1-18

Masters, give what is good and fair to your slaves. Remember that you have a Master in heaven.

What the Christians Are to Do

Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God. Also pray for us that God will give us an opportunity to tell people his message. Pray that we can preach the secret that God has made known about Christ. This is why I am in prison. Pray that I can speak in a way that will make it clear, as I should.

Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.

News About the People with Paul

Tychicus is my dear brother in Christ and a faithful minister and servant with me in the Lord. He will tell you all the things that are happening to me. This is why I am sending him: so you may know how we are and he may encourage you. I send him with Onesimus, a faithful and dear brother in Christ, and one of your group. They will tell you all that has happened here.

Aristarchus, a prisoner with me, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, greet you. (I have already told you what to do about Mark. If he comes, welcome him.) Jesus, who is called Justus, also greets you. These are the only Jewish believers who work with me for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.

Epaphras, a servant of Jesus Christ, from your group, also greets you. He always prays for you that you will grow to be spiritually mature and have everything God wants for you. I know he has worked hard for you and the people in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Demas and our dear friend Luke, the doctor, greet you.

Greet the brothers and sisters in Laodicea. And greet Nympha and the church that meets in her house. After this letter is read to you, be sure it is also read to the church in Laodicea. And you read the letter that I wrote to Laodicea. Tell Archippus, “Be sure to finish the work the Lord gave you.”

I, Paul, greet you and write this with my own hand. Remember me in prison. Grace be with you.

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


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

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

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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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Year V: Week 5 of Epiphany

Tuesday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World. The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry. The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through Paul’s letter’s.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 60

For the choir director: A psalm of David useful for teaching, regarding the time David fought Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah, and Joab returned and killed 12,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. To be sung to the tune “Lily of the Testimony.”

You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses.
    You have been angry with us; now restore us to your favor.
You have shaken our land and split it open.
    Seal the cracks, for the land trembles.
You have been very hard on us,
    making us drink wine that sent us reeling.
But you have raised a banner for those who fear you—
    a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude

Now rescue your beloved people.
    Answer and save us by your power.
God has promised this by his holiness:
“I will divide up Shechem with joy.
    I will measure out the valley of Succoth.
Gilead is mine,
    and Manasseh, too.
Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors,
    and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings.
But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant,
    and I will wipe my feet on Edom
    and shout in triumph over Philistia.”

Who will bring me into the fortified city?
    Who will bring me victory over Edom?
Have you rejected us, O God?
    Will you no longer march with our armies?
Oh, please help us against our enemies,
    for all human help is useless.
With God’s help we will do mighty things,
    for he will trample down our foes.

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
(Optional)

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


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Genesis 34:1-31

Dinah Is Attacked

At this time Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of the land, saw her, he took her and forced her to have sexual relations with him. Shechem fell in love with Dinah, and he spoke kindly to her. He told his father, Hamor, “Please get this girl for me so I can marry her.”

Jacob learned how Shechem had disgraced his daughter, but since his sons were out in the field with the cattle, Jacob said nothing until they came home. While he waited, Hamor father of Shechem went to talk with Jacob.

When Jacob’s sons heard what had happened, they came in from the field. They were very angry that Shechem had done such a wicked thing to Israel. It was wrong for him to have sexual relations with Jacob’s daughter; a thing like this should not be done.

But Hamor talked to Dinah’s brothers and said, “My son Shechem is deeply in love with Dinah. Please let him marry her. Marry our people. Give your women to our men as wives and take our women for your men as wives. You can live in the same land with us. You will be free to own land and to trade here.”

Shechem also talked to Jacob and to Dinah’s brothers and said, “Please accept my offer. I will give anything you ask. Ask as much as you want for the payment for the bride, and I will give it to you. Just let me marry Dinah.”

Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father with lies, because Shechem had disgraced their sister Dinah. The brothers said to them, “We cannot allow you to marry our sister, because you are not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. But we will allow you to marry her if you do this one thing: Every man in your town must be circumcised like us. Then your men can marry our women, and our men can marry your women, and we will live in your land and become one people. If you refuse to be circumcised, we will take Dinah and leave.”

What they asked seemed fair to Hamor and Shechem. So Shechem quickly went to be circumcised because he loved Jacob’s daughter.

Now Shechem was the most respected man in his family. So Hamor and Shechem went to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, “These people want to be friends with us. So let them live in our land and trade here. There is enough land for all of us. Let us marry their women, and we can let them marry our women. But we must agree to one thing: All our men must be circumcised as they are. Then they will agree to live in our land, and we will be one people. If we do this, their cattle and their animals will belong to us. Let us do what they say, and they will stay in our land.” All the people who had come to the city gate heard this. They agreed with Hamor and Shechem, and every man was circumcised.

Three days later the men who were circumcised were still in pain. Two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi (Dinah’s brothers), took their swords and made a surprise attack on the city, killing all the men there. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem and then took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and left. Jacob’s sons came upon the dead bodies and stole everything that was in the city, to pay them back for what Shechem had done to their sister. So the brothers took the flocks, herds, and donkeys, and everything in the city and in the fields. They took every valuable thing the people owned, even their wives and children and everything in the houses.

Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have caused me a lot of trouble. Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites who live in the land will hate me. Since there are only a few of us, if they join together to attack us, my people and I will be destroyed.”

But the brothers said, “We will not allow our sister to be treated like a prostitute.”

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


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:

Lord Jesus, you worked with your hands as a carpenter.
May we who labour upon the earth never cease to give you praise,
And know your loving presence with us.
We ask this for your glory. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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.

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