Be Thou my vision, o Lord of my heart; nought be all else to me, save that Thou art—
—-Ancient Irish Poem, trans. Mary E. Byrne, 1905
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 Heb. 2:9
We see Jesus,
who for a little while was made lower than the angels.
He is crowned with glory and honor. Alleluia!
Prayer William Bright (1824-1901)
you want us to give thanks for all things,
to fear nothing except losing you,
and to lay all our cares on you,
knowing that you care for us.
Protect us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties,
and grant that no clouds in this mortal life
may hide from us the light of your immortal love
shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”, sung by BYU Noteworthy. Listen as you pray.
Reading of the Day: Ephesians 2: 11-22
11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19, including Mark Sabala and Marcy Szeliga in their work as nurses, Linda and Mario Berrios and their family, Debbi’s neighbors and all others who are out of work, Star Sims’ family and Donna Ardell’s family, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for Connie’s Aunt Bonnie and her two cousins— Bonnie is recovering from the virus. On this Memorial Day without parades or parties, let us pray for all who died in military service, and for veterans who survived but are suffering today in so many ways. Let us pray for an end to war, as well as to disease. 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 Lamb upon the throne
be your shepherd,
guiding you to the water of life,
and wiping away every tear.
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.