“O nobody else can walk it for us, we have to walk it by ourselves…”
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 Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA), 2018
God of compassion,
we praise you that you look upon our frail lives
with love and understanding,
and that you desire for us all
new life in Jesus Christ.
We are overwhelmed by your love,
which goes to the cross for us,
endures the grave,
and leads us to new life.
By your Spirit,
strengthen our souls
to be brave and bold in Christ’s service.
Take our offerings,
and use them and us for your purposes,
in the name of Jesus Christ,
our crucified and risen Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
A Quiet Place, by Take 5. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Mark 8: 31-38
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at the disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
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, and of course for all those who have been affected by the devastating winter storms. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients. Pray for teachers and school administrators and staff in Texas, who continue to face the risk of Covid without vaccinations. 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 road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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.