Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures
God is the creator of the world.
In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the water. Then God commanded, “Let there be light” – and light appeared. God was pleased with what he saw. Then he separated the light from the darkness, and he named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening passed and morning came – that was the first day.
God initiates a commitment with his people.
God spoke, and these were his words: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. Worship no god but me.”
Moses tells the people that there is only one true God.
Job, a righteous man who had been tested by God, acknowledges God’s power.
I know, LORD, that you are all-powerful; that you can do everything you want. You ask how I dare question your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know. You told me to listen while you spoke and to try to answer your questions. In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes.
The psalm writers speak of God’s activity in all creation – God in whom they can put their hope, knowing that he listens at all times when people call upon him in prayer – God who is always near, guiding them each day.
O LORD, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!
When I look at the sky, which you have made,
at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places –
what are human beings, that you think of them;
mere mortals, that you care for them?
Yet you made them inferior only to yourself;
you crowned them with glory and honor.
You will listen, O LORD,
to the prayers of the lowly;
You will give them courage.
You will hear the cries of the oppressed
and the orphans;
you will judge in their favor,
so that mortal men may cause
terror no more.
I praise the LORD, because he guides me,
and in the night my conscience warns me.
I am always aware of the LORD’s presence;
he is near, and nothing can shake me.
And so I am thankful and glad,
and I feel completely secure,
because you protect me from the
power of death.
I have served you faithfully,
and you will not abandon me to
the world of the dead.
You will show me the path that
leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever.