Year V: Week 6 of Epiphany

Saturday: 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 29

A psalm of David.

Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
    honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
    Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
    The God of glory thunders.
    The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
    the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
    he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
    with bolts of lightning.
The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
    and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
    The Lord reigns as king forever.
The Lord gives his people strength.
    The Lord blesses them with peace.

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 46:28-47:12

Jacob Arrives in Egypt

Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to see Joseph in Goshen. When Jacob and his people came into the land of Goshen, Joseph prepared his chariot and went to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as Joseph saw his father, he hugged him, and cried there for a long time.

Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, because I have seen your face and I know you are still alive.”

Joseph said to his brothers and his father’s family, “I will go and tell the king you are here. I will say, ‘My brothers and my father’s family have left the land of Canaan and have come here to me. They are shepherds and take care of farm animals, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and everything they own with them.’ When the king calls you, he will ask, ‘What work do you do?’ This is what you should tell him: ‘We, your servants, have taken care of farm animals all our lives. Our ancestors did the same thing.’ Then the king will allow you to settle in the land of Goshen, away from the Egyptians, because they don’t like to be near shepherds.”

Jacob Settles in Goshen

Joseph went in to the king and said, “My father and my brothers have arrived from Canaan with their flocks and herds and everything they own. They are now in the land of Goshen.” Joseph chose five of his brothers to introduce to the king.

The king said to the brothers, “What work do you do?”

And they said to him, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just as our ancestors were.” They said to the king, “We have come to live in this land, because there is no grass in the land of Canaan for our animals to eat, and the hunger is terrible there. So please allow us to live in the land of Goshen.”

Then the king said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, and you may choose any place in Egypt for them to live. Give your father and your brothers the best land; let them live in the land of Goshen. And if any of them are skilled shepherds, put them in charge of my sheep and cattle.”

Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and introduced him to the king, and Jacob blessed the king.

Then the king said to Jacob, “How old are you?”

Jacob said to him, “My life has been spent wandering from place to place. It has been short and filled with trouble—only one hundred thirty years. My ancestors lived much longer than I.” Then Jacob blessed the king and left.

Joseph obeyed the king and gave his father and brothers the best land in Egypt, near the city of Rameses. And Joseph gave his father, his brothers, and everyone who lived with them the food they needed.

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 we thank you for the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach towards the prize. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 6 of Epiphany

Saturday: 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 28

A psalm of David.

I pray to you, O Lord, my rock.
    Do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you are silent,
    I might as well give up and die.
Listen to my prayer for mercy
    as I cry out to you for help,
    as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked—
    with those who do evil—
those who speak friendly words to their neighbors
    while planning evil in their hearts.
Give them the punishment they so richly deserve!
    Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness.
Pay them back for all their evil deeds!
    Give them a taste of what they have done to others.
They care nothing for what the Lord has done
    or for what his hands have made.
So he will tear them down,
    and they will never be rebuilt!

Praise the Lord!
    For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

The Lord gives his people strength.
    He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.
Save your people!
    Bless Israel, your special possession.
Lead them like a shepherd,
    and carry them in your arms 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.)


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

  • Saviour and Friend, as we begin the weekend we ask for refreshment in our bodies and restoration to our spirits. Give us the ability in this frantic world to “come aside and rest awhile” and rediscover what it is to be the dwelling place of God.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • May we know purpose in every moment and peace in every step.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • For the ability to lay down the technology that distracts and the fears that disturb.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • For spaces of solitude, moments of silence and time to stop and stare.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you came to deliver us from self, sin and Satan in order that you might live in us by the power of your Spirit. We welcome your presence and are overawed at the humility of God.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • Being mindful of your embrace, we reach out today to those on the lonely fringes of our community and welcome them into our world.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • We bring before you our friends and family. May they be happy. May they be well. May they be wrapped in your loving embrace.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we ask that this weekend many will find sanctuary within your House. May your church be united in praise and awesome as an army with banners! May her numbers daily increase and her love for you be ever more fervent.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • For those who bring your word to our streets, for Street Pastors, School Pastors, Street Evangelism Teams and all forms of outreach. May no one die without the offer of the gospel.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • For those who bring mercy to our cities, for the work of Food Bank, Homeless Night Shelters, the agencies of practical aid and the many other expressions of Christian charity…
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…

The World

  • Ever Living God, we ask for a renewed call to missions. Send forth your labourers into the harvest, for the harvest is ripe but the labourers are few! May thousands of hearts receive your transforming power today.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • For those who can only witness with their lifestyle because their voices are silenced through persecution and oppression. May their lives speak powerfully of your love.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…
  • For the protection of your church when she is attacked, the provision of your church when she is deprived and the steadfastness of your church when she is derided.
             – For the Kingdom of Heaven is within…


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 17:7-10

Be Good Servants

“Suppose one of you has a servant who has been plowing the ground or caring for the sheep. When the servant comes in from working in the field, would you say, ‘Come in and sit down to eat’? No, you would say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Then get yourself ready and serve me. After I finish eating and drinking, you can eat.’ The servant does not get any special thanks for doing what his master commanded. It is the same with you. When you have done everything you are told to do, you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done the work we should do.’”

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 Community: The Principle of Small Groups.

Mindful that the excitement of celebration must be balanced with the growth that can only happen in a smaller group, I commit myself to being part of a smaller midweek gathering. As a follower of the Way of Community, I dedicate myself to the support and encouragement of this group of like-minded pilgrims.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Small Groups.


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.)

Give us grace, O Lord,
To answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ
And proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation,
That we and the whole world may perceive,
The glory of his marvelous works;
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 shine in your heart,
Chasing the dark night of sin away,
And shedding over your world light unquenchable. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 6 of Epiphany

Friday: 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 27

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

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 45:1-46:7

Joseph Reveals Who He Is

Joseph could not control himself in front of his servants any longer, so he cried out, “Have everyone leave me.” When only the brothers were left with Joseph, he told them who he was. Joseph cried so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and the people in the king’s palace heard about it. He said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But the brothers could not answer him, because they were very afraid of him.

So Joseph said to them, “Come close to me.” When the brothers came close to him, he said to them, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold as a slave to go to Egypt. Now don’t be worried or angry with yourselves because you sold me here. God sent me here ahead of you to save people’s lives. No food has grown on the land for two years now, and there will be five more years without planting or harvest. So God sent me here ahead of you to make sure you have some descendants left on earth and to keep you alive in an amazing way. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. God has made me the highest officer of the king of Egypt. I am in charge of his palace, and I am the master of all the land of Egypt.

“So leave quickly and go to my father. Tell him, ‘Your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all Egypt. Come down to me quickly. Live in the land of Goshen where you will be near me. Your children, your grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that you have will also be near me. I will care for you during the next five years of hunger so that you and your family and all that you have will not starve.’

“Now you can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that the one speaking to you is really Joseph. So tell my father about how powerful I have become in Egypt. Tell him about everything you have seen. Now hurry and bring him back to me.” Then Joseph hugged his brother Benjamin and cried, and Benjamin cried also. And Joseph kissed all his brothers and cried as he hugged them. After this, his brothers talked with him.

When the king of Egypt and his officers learned that Joseph’s brothers had come, they were very happy. So the king said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers to load their animals and go back to the land of Canaan and bring their father and their families back here to me. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they will eat the best food we have here. Tell them to take some wagons from Egypt for their children and their wives and to bring their father back also. Tell them not to worry about bringing any of their things with them, because we will give them the best of what we have in Egypt.”

So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them wagons as the king had ordered and food for their trip. He gave each brother a change of clothes, but he gave Benjamin five changes of clothes and about seven and one-half pounds of silver. Joseph also sent his father ten donkeys loaded with the best things from Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and other food for his father on his trip back. Then Joseph told his brothers to go. As they were leaving, he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way home.”

So the brothers left Egypt and went to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him, “Joseph is still alive and is the ruler over all the land of Egypt.” Their father was shocked and did not believe them. But when the brothers told him everything Joseph had said, and when Jacob saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him back to Egypt, he felt better. Israel said, “Now I believe you. My son Joseph is still alive, and I will go and see him before I die.”

Jacob Goes to Egypt

So Israel took all he had and started his trip. He went to Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. During the night God spoke to Israel in a vision and said, “Jacob, Jacob.”

And Jacob answered, “Here I am.”

Then God said, “I am God, the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt, because I will make your descendants a great nation there. I will go to Egypt with you, and I will bring you out of Egypt again. Joseph’s own hands will close your eyes when you die.”

Then Jacob left Beersheba. The sons of Israel loaded their father, their children, and their wives in the wagons the king of Egypt had sent. They also took their farm animals and everything they had gotten in Canaan. So Jacob went to Egypt with all his descendants— his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters. He took all his family to Egypt with him.

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:

Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 6 of Epiphany

Friday: 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 26

A psalm of David.

Declare me innocent, O Lord,
    for I have acted with integrity;
    I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
    Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
    and I have lived according to your truth.
I do not spend time with liars
    or go along with hypocrites.
I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
    and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
    I come to your altar, O Lord,
singing a song of thanksgiving
    and telling of all your wonders.
I love your sanctuary, Lord,
    the place where your glorious presence dwells.

Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.
    Don’t condemn me along with murderers.
Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
    and they constantly take bribes.
But I am not like that; I live with integrity.
    So redeem me and show me mercy.
Now I stand on solid ground,
    and I will publicly praise the Lord.

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

  • Mighty Lord, we offer this new day as a gift to you even as you have given it freely to us. Fill our hearts with joy and our path with peace as we enter upon the business of the day, and may your presence go with us to bring us rest.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • May we be messengers of love to this world today. Knowing that the words of the wise are few; may only that which is true, kind and necessary pass from our lips.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For insight to untangle what is knotted and wisdom to straighten that which is crooked.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For calmness to accept that which cannot be changed and grace to accept that which shouldn’t be altered.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you call us your friends and consider us your disciples. May our friendships lead us more deeply in devotion to you and may the lonely find shelter in our homes and hearts.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • Comfort those who have been broken by abuse or abandonment; or consider themselves unloved and unlovely.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For those at the beginning of life’s journey, that they may be deeply loved and cared for. Keep the children of our community from all harm. May they find happiness and joy.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For those who are nearing the end of their race; may their fears be transformed into anticipation and their faith bear much fruit in the latter day.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we call those who are wandering back into your fold, even as you came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Let the prodigals return and the confused find rest.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For those who are sick in mind, body and spirit, speak your word and heal their disease.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • Bless the work of those in pastoral ministries, tending the flock and restoring the bruised and broken…
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For the grace to be subject to one another in love, preferring the other before ourselves.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…

The World

  • Ever-living God, we stand in the place of intercession and ask for your mercy upon our nation. If you remembered our transgressions, then who could stand? Show yourself strong in compassion and forgive us our sins.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For those living on the streets, without family or home. Empower your church, that none may sleep rough without the offer of shelter.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For your people working in education, social services, law enforcement and the judiciary, that their light may shine brightly…
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture…
  • For our Queen and Royal family. May she defend your cause, be protected from her enemies and know your peace.
             – For we are the sheep of your pasture


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 17:1-6

Sin and Forgiveness

Jesus said to his followers, “Things that cause people to sin will happen, but how terrible for the person who causes them to happen! It would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large stone around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin. So be careful!

“If another follower sins, warn him, and if he is sorry and stops sinning, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day and says that he is sorry each time, forgive him.”

How Big Is Your Faith?

The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith!”

The Lord said, “If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

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 Community: The Principle of Celebration.

Recognising the power of corporate witness and worship, I prioritise the Sunday gatherings of my church, committing to being a contributor and not just a consumer. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will find a place to serve within the church and arrive on time, with an expectant heart and a cheerful spirit.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Celebration.


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.)

Most loving Father,
Whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things,
To fear nothing but the loss of you,
And to cast all our care on you who care for us:
Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties,
That no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us
The light of that love which is immortal,
And which you have manifested to us,
In your Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of 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 the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,
Give light to your path and banish all fear and doubt. 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 6 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 25

A psalm of David.

O Lord, I give my life to you.
    I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
    or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
    but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

For the honor of your name, O Lord,
    forgive my many, many sins.
Who are those who fear the Lord?
    He will show them the path they should choose.
They will live in prosperity,
    and their children will inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
    He teaches them his covenant.
My eyes are always on the Lord,
    for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

Turn to me and have mercy,
    for I am alone and in deep distress.
My problems go from bad to worse.
    Oh, save me from them all!
Feel my pain and see my trouble.
    Forgive all my sins.
See how many enemies I have
    and how viciously they hate me!
Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
    Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
May integrity and honesty protect me,
    for I put my hope in you.

O God, ransom Israel
    from all its troubles.

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 44:1-34

Joseph Sets a Trap

Then Joseph gave a command to the servant in charge of his house. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. Put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother, along with his money for the grain.” The servant did what Joseph told him.

At dawn the brothers were sent away with their donkeys. They were not far from the city when Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Go after the men. When you catch up with them, say, ‘Why have you paid back evil for good? The cup you have stolen is the one my master uses for drinking and for explaining dreams. You have done a very wicked thing!’”

So the servant caught up with the brothers and said to them what Joseph had told him to say.

But the brothers said to the servant, “Why do you say these things? We would not do anything like that! We brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money we found in our sacks. So surely we would not steal silver or gold from your master’s house. If you find that silver cup in the sack of one of us, then let him die, and we will be your slaves.”

The servant said, “We will do as you say, but only the man who has taken the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go free.”

Then every brother quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. The servant searched the sacks, going from the oldest brother to the youngest, and found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. The brothers tore their clothes to show they were afraid. Then they put their sacks back on the donkeys and returned to the city.

When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there, so the brothers bowed facedown on the ground before him. Joseph said to them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know that a man like me can learn things by signs and dreams?”

Judah said, “Master, what can we say? And how can we show we are not guilty? God has uncovered our guilt, so all of us will be your slaves, not just Benjamin.”

But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back safely to your father.”

Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Master, please let me speak plainly to you, and please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are as powerful as the king of Egypt himself. When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ And we answered you, ‘We have an old father. And we have a younger brother, who was born when our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left alive, and our father loves him very much.’ Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot leave his father, because if he leaves him, his father would die.’ But you said to us, ‘If you don’t bring your youngest brother, you will not be allowed to see me again.’ So we went back to our father and told him what you had said.

“Later, our father said, ‘Go again and buy us a little more food.’ We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. Without our youngest brother, we will not be allowed to see the governor.’ Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. When one son left me, I thought, “Surely he has been torn apart by a wild animal,” and I haven’t seen him since. Now you want to take this son away from me also. But something terrible might happen to him, and I would be miserable until the day I die.’ Now what will happen if we go home to our father without our youngest brother? He is so important in our father’s life that when our father sees the young boy is not with us, he will die. And it will be our fault. We will cause the great sorrow that kills our father.

“I gave my father a guarantee that the young boy would be safe. I said to my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life.’ So now, please allow me to stay here and be your slave, and let the young boy go back home with his brothers. I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I couldn’t stand to see my father that sad.”

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.

Standard
Year V: Week 6 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 22

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
    and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
    They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
    and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
    You have been my God from the moment I was born.

Do not stay so far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and no one else can help me.
My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
    fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
Like lions they open their jaws against me,
    roaring and tearing into their prey.
My life is poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
    melting within me.
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
    My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
    You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
    an evil gang closes in on me.
    They have pierced my hands and feet.
I can count all my bones.
    My enemies stare at me and gloat.
They divide my garments among themselves
    and throw dice for my clothing.

O Lord, do not stay far away!
    You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
Save me from the sword;
    spare my precious life from these dogs.
Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
    and from the horns of these wild oxen.

I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
    I will praise you among your assembled people.
Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
    Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
    Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
    He has not turned his back on them,
    but has listened to their cries for help.

I will praise you in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the Lord will praise him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
For royal power belongs to the Lord.
    He rules all the nations.

Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
Our children will also serve him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything he has done.

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, India, Burma 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 16:19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

Jesus said, “There was a rich man who always dressed in the finest clothes and lived in luxury every day. And a very poor man named Lazarus, whose body was covered with sores, was laid at the rich man’s gate. He wanted to eat only the small pieces of food that fell from the rich man’s table. And the dogs would come and lick his sores. Later, Lazarus died, and the angels carried him to the arms of Abraham. The rich man died, too, and was buried. In the place of the dead, he was in much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side. He called, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am suffering in this fire!’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember when you were alive you had the good things in life, but bad things happened to Lazarus. Now he is comforted here, and you are suffering. Besides, there is a big pit between you and us, so no one can cross over to you, and no one can leave there and come here.’ The rich man said, ‘Father, then please send Lazarus to my father’s house. I have five brothers, and Lazarus could warn them so that they will not come to this place of pain.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets; let them learn from them.’ The rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham! If someone goes to them from the dead, they would believe and change their hearts and lives.’ But Abraham said to him, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to someone who comes back from the dead.’”

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 Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.

Recognising that my body is a temple, and that a simple life lived at a sustainable speed is deeply beneficial, I choose to be mindful of my habits of diet and exercise, and to dress simply and modestly. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will not overeat, consume excess intoxicating substances, pollute my mind with impure thoughts or neglect my body through lack of adequate exercise.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.


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.

Standard
Year V: Week 6 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 21

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
    He shouts with joy because you give him victory.
For you have given him his heart’s desire;
    you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude

You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
    You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
He asked you to preserve his life,
    and you granted his request.
    The days of his life stretch on forever.
Your victory brings him great honor,
    and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
You have endowed him with eternal blessings
    and given him the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord.
    The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.

You will capture all your enemies.
    Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you.
You will throw them in a flaming furnace
    when you appear.
The Lord will consume them in his anger;
    fire will devour them.
You will wipe their children from the face of the earth;
    they will never have descendants.
Although they plot against you,
    their evil schemes will never succeed.
For they will turn and run
    when they see your arrows aimed at them.
Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.
    With music and singing we celebrate your mighty 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
(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 43:1-34

The Brothers Go Back to Egypt

Still no food grew in the land of Canaan. When Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, Jacob said to them, “Go to Egypt again and buy a little more grain for us to eat.”

But Judah said to Jacob, “The governor of that country strongly warned us, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back with you, you will not be allowed to see me.’ If you will send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy food for you. But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The governor of that country warned us that we would not see him if we didn’t bring Benjamin with us.”

Israel said, “Why did you tell the man you had another brother? You have caused me a lot of trouble.”

The brothers answered, “He questioned us carefully about ourselves and our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ We just answered his questions. How could we know he would ask us to bring our other brother to him?”

Then Judah said to his father Jacob, “Send Benjamin with me, and we will go at once so that we, you, and our children may live and not die. I will guarantee you that he will be safe, and I will be personally responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life. If we had not wasted all this time, we could have already made two trips.”

Then their father Jacob said to them, “If it has to be that way, then do this: Take some of the best foods in our land in your packs. Give them to the man as a gift: some balm, some honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Take twice as much money with you this time, and take back the money that was returned to you in your sacks last time. Maybe it was a mistake. And take Benjamin with you. Now leave and go to the man. I pray that God Almighty will cause the governor to be merciful to you and that he will allow Simeon and Benjamin to come back with you. If I am robbed of my children, then I am robbed of them!”

So the brothers took the gifts. They also took twice as much money as they had taken the first time, and they took Benjamin. They hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant in charge of his house, “Bring those men into my house. Kill an animal and prepare a meal. Those men will eat with me today at noon.” The servant did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.

The brothers were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house and thought, “We were brought here because of the money that was put in our sacks on the first trip. He wants to attack us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.” So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the door of the house. They said, “Master, we came here once before to buy food. While we were going home, we stopped for the night and when we opened our sacks each of us found all his money in his sack. We brought that money with us to give it back to you. And we have brought more money to pay for the food we want to buy this time. We don’t know who put that money in our sacks.”

But the servant answered, “It’s all right. Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sacks. I got the money you paid me for the grain last time.” Then the servant brought Simeon out to them.

The servant led the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave their donkeys food to eat. The men prepared their gift to give to Joseph when he arrived at noon, because they had heard they were going to eat with him there.

When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gift they had brought into the house and bowed down to the ground in front of him. Joseph asked them how they were doing. He said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still alive?”

The brothers answered, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” And they bowed low before Joseph to show him respect.

When Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, who had the same mother as he, Joseph asked, “Is this your youngest brother you told me about?” Then he said to Benjamin, “God be good to you, my son!” Then Joseph hurried off because he had to hold back the tears when he saw his brother Benjamin. So Joseph went into his room and cried there. Then he washed his face and came out. He controlled himself and said, “Serve the meal.”

So they served Joseph at one table, his brothers at another table, and the Egyptians who ate with him at another table. This was because Egyptians did not like Hebrews and never ate with them. Joseph’s brothers were seated in front of him in order of their ages, from oldest to youngest. They looked at each other because they were so amazed. Food from Joseph’s table was taken to them, but Benjamin was given five times more food than the others. Joseph’s brothers ate and drank freely with him.

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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