“O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel…”
—-Latin, 12th C.
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 Romans 13: 11-12
Awake from your sleep: salvation is near!
The night is far gone; the day is at hand.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA), 2018
your promises stand unshaken through all generations.
Renew us in hope,
that we may be awake and alert
as we watch for the glorious return of Jesus Christ,
our judge and Savior,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, sung by Enya. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Isaiah 2:1-5
1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3 Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
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 Becky’s sister’s coworker Denie, who has returned to the ICU at Memorial Hermann Hospital with the virus; for Susan Smith’s brother-in-law John, hospitalized with the virus. 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 airline employees who are at risk at their work. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the love of the Father enfold us,
the wisdom of the Son enlighten us,
the fire of the Spirit inflame us;
and may the blessing of the triune God rest on us,
and abide with us,
now and evermore.
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.