“Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son! And praise the Spirit, Three in One! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
—-Francis of Assisi, 1225
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 Romans 6:3, 11
Through our baptism, we are dead to sin.
Now we are alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Prayer Michael Quoist, 1965
Here, Lord, before you tonight are the bodies of sleeping men:
The pure body of the tiny child,
The soiled body of the prostitute,
The vigorous body of the athlete,
The exhausted body of the factory worker,
The soft body of the playboy,
The surfeited body of the rich man,
The starved body of the poor man,
The paralyzed body of the cripple,
All bodies, Lord, of all ages.
I offer them all to you, Lord, and ask you to bless them,
While they lie in silence, wrapped in your night…
May these bodies be developed, purified, transfigured,
By those who dwell in them. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Farther Along, by Willie Nelson. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Exodus 20: 1-21
1 Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.” 21 Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
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 Dr. Marshall Cash, working directly with COVID patients in Shreveport, LA, President Trump and all his associates, and the hundreds more in Houston who are diagnosed positive each day. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Pray today for hope in our world, that we would be able to see beyond our immediate circumstances and toward the kingdom of heaven. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,
serve one another
with whatever gift each of you has received.
To God be the glory and the power
forever and ever. 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.