Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home. —-Isaac Watts, 1719
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 Luke 24: 46, 48 We are witnesses to these things:
the Messiah is risen from the dead.
Prayer Attributed to Teresa of Lisieux (1873-1897)
Just for today,
what does it matter, O Lord,
if the future is dark?
To pray now for tomorrow I am not able.
Keep my heart only for today,
grant me your light--
just for today. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Amazing Grace, Presbyterian Hymnal #280, sung here by Judy Collins. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day: Matthew 5: 1-10
1 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.”
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. Pray especially for researchers who are working to develop better treatments and a vaccine to fight 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. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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.