“All creation join in praising God the Father, Spirit, Son, evermore your voices raising to the eternal Three in One…”
—-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 Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.
Prayer Book of Confessions, PC(USA), 2018
Give us, O God, such love and wonder
that with shepherds and magi, and pilgrims unknown,
we may come to adore the holy child, the promised king;
and with our gifts worship him,
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Silent Night, by John Denver and the Muppets. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Luke 2: 1-7
2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
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, who are 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 everyone who is isolated and alone this Christmas. 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!
Becky Downs, pastor of John Knox, started writing daily prayers for the congregation at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, to encourage the congregation in their faith during their time of separation from each other. The daily prayers were posted throughout the year. You might want to choose one a day to read, and modify the specific prayers for self and others to fit your life today.