—-James Montgomery, 1816
Preparation for worship
Sit in a relaxed position. Take a slow, deep breath (or 2 or 3 or as many as needed) until you feel your body, mind, and soul begin to relax and rest in the Spirit. Take time to reflect as you move through this time of worship…
Opening Sentences Isaiah 9:2, 6
Light shines on those who live in darkness,
for a child is born to us this day.
Prayer Blair Gilmer Meeks, 2005
God of earth and heaven:
when you brought your firstborn into the world,
you sent your angel messengers, swift as the winds,
and your servants, like flames of fire, to tell the glad news:
Give us courage in the midst of all earth’s shadows
to praise you for the Light that overcomes;
to sing the glory of your beloved Son,
who came to live among us, full of grace and truth.
In his name we pray. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Go, Tell it on the Mountain, sung by Aretha Franklin. Listen, pray, and rejoice!
Reading of the Day John 1:1-14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID-19 and by its side effects in our world. Pray for the thousands who are still being diagnosed positive in the U.S. each day, for Denie and her husband Francisco; for Susan Smith’s brother-in-law John, who is still hospitalized with the virus after five weeks, and for Susan’s sister, who can’t visit him; for Delphine Zarsky’s niece’s family; for Becky’s friend Vanessa, whose husband died from the virus; for Gloria Thomas’s granddaughter Lauren and her friend Seth; for Brandon Jantzen and his family; for David Lewallen’s son-in-law; for Debbie Battisse-Kleinman, pastor of the Indian Presbyterian Church in Livingston, and her family; and for Rev. Scott Harbison, pastor of St. Luke’s Presbyterian, and his wife Debbie; for the Mendoza family, recovering from the virus; and for Lizzie Downs. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Pray today for hospital workers and first . Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the God of glory,
the Word of life,
and the Spirit of truth
bless you all, now and forever. Alleluia!