Easter | 3rd Monday 02 May 2022
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Almighty God, you gave your only Son to be for us both a
sacrifice for sin and an example of godly living: Give us grace
thankfully to receive his inestimable benefits, and daily to follow
the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The church then had peace
throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria,
and it became stronger
as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord.
And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit,
it also grew in numbers.
Psalms: Psalm 121 – “My Help Cometh from the Lord” – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
OT Reading: Ezekiel 1:1-25 (NLT)
A Vision of Living Beings
1:1 On July 31 of my thirtieth year, while I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. This happened during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity. (The Lord gave this message to Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and he felt the hand of the Lord take hold of him.)
As I looked, I saw a great storm coming from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. There was fire inside the cloud, and in the middle of the fire glowed something like gleaming amber. From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human, except that each had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, and their feet had hooves like those of a calf and shone like burnished bronze. Under each of their four wings I could see human hands. So each of the four beings had four faces and four wings. The wings of each living being touched the wings of the beings beside it. Each one moved straight forward in any direction without turning around.
Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back. Each had two pairs of outstretched wings—one pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body. They went in whatever direction the spirit chose, and they moved straight forward in any direction without turning around.
The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them. And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning.
As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels touching the ground beside them, one wheel belonging to each. The wheels sparkled as if made of beryl. All four wheels looked alike and were made the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. The beings could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. The rims of the four wheels were tall and frightening, and they were covered with eyes all around.
When the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too. The spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings also went. When the beings moved, the wheels moved. When the beings stopped, the wheels stopped. When the beings flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal. Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others’ wings, and each had two wings covering its body. As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them.
Ezekiel 1 (Behind the Song) – Misty Edwards
NT Reading: Acts 9:19b-31 (NLT)
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
9:19b Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”
Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.
The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
We Choose The Fear Of The Lord – Maranatha Singers
We Praise You, O God
We praise you, O God; we acclaim you as Lord; *
all creation worships you, the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. *
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. *
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all praise, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free *
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come to be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints *
to glory everlasting
Closing: Faithand Worship | John Birch
May the risen Christ grant us
the joys of eternal life.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.