“Be this the eternal song through all the ages long: May Jesus Christ be praised!”
—-German hymn, c. 1800
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 2 Thessalonians 1:3
Thanks be to God for your abundant faith.
May the love of God continue to grow in us.
Prayer Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892-1971
O Lord, you have made us very small, and we bring our years to an end like a tale that is told; help us to remember that beyond our brief day is the eternity of your love.
Hymn of the Day
Flood Waters, by Josh Garrels. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Romans 15: 14-24
14 I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 Nevertheless on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ. 20 Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”
22 This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you 24 when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19. Please pray for Mark Sabala, working with Covid patients as a nurse, Marcy Szeliga, working as a case investigator and contact tracer, for the Howell family, the Pena family, Mario’s friend Leah, her mother and her daughter, Carolyn Feigh, and for all others who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. Today pray for African American and Latino neighborhoods, who have been the hardest hit in our city and others. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the God of glory,
the Lord of life,
and the Spirit of truth
be with you all. Amen.
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.