“God be with you till we meet again; loving counsels guide, uphold you, with a Shepherd’s care enfold you…”
—Jeremiah Eames Ranken, 1880
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 Micah 6:8
What does the Holy One require of us?
To be just, kind, and humble before God.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA), 2018
you confound the world’s wisdom
by giving your kingdom to the lowly
and pure in heart.
Give us such a hunger and thirst for justice
and perseverance in striving for peace,
that by our words and deeds
the world may see the promise of your kingdom,
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Bread & Wine, by Josh Garrells. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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, and for the thousands who are dying. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga, working as a nurse in a COVID ICU unit; for Frances Gutierrez and her daughters, all recovering from the virus at home; and for Brandon Jantzen and his family— Brandon is experiencing continuing health problems after having Covid. Pray for patience and perseverance for all of us, that we would continue to take precautions even as we see the light at the end of the long night. 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.
Now may the Lord of peace
give you peace at all times
and in all ways.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all of you.
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.