“O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind…”
—-Latin, 12th C.
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 Jeremiah 33:15-16
Justice and righteousness will fill the land
and all people will live in peace and safety.
Prayer Feasting on the Word, WJK Press, 2012
Thank you for this new day to sing your praise
and watch for signs of your kingdom.
By your Spirit, let me abound in love for you and your children,
that in living and loving I may point to your coming reign.
In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Shepards, by Bruce Cockburn. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Matthew 24: 36-44
36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
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, for Becky’s sister’s coworker Denie, who has returned to the ICU at Memorial Hermann Hospital with the virus; for Susan Smith’s brother-in-law John, hospitalized with 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. Pray today for those who are making the plans for vaccine distribution- that God’s wisdom would be in their plans, and that the most in need would benefit rather than only those with power. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the love of the Father enfold us,
the wisdom of the Son enlighten us,
the fire of the Spirit inflame us;
and may the blessing of the triune God rest on us,
and abide with us,
now and evermore.
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.