“…disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.”
—-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 33:14
The day of the Lord is surely coming;
the promise of God will be fulfilled.
Prayer Anselm (1033-1109)
Lord, because you have made me,
I owe you the whole of my love;
because you have redeemed me,
I owe you the whole of myself;
because you have promised so much,
I owe you my whole being.
Moreover, I owe you
as much more love than myself
as you are greater than I,
for whom you gave yourself
and to whom you promised yourself.
Lord, make me taste by love
what I taste by knowledge;
let me know by love
what I know my understanding.
I owe you more than my whole self,
but I have no more, and by myself
I cannot render the whole of it to you.
Draw me to you, Lord,
in the fullness of your love.
I am wholly yours by creation;
make me all yours, too, in love. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes,” (Angels We Have Heard on High), sung by physicians and friends at St. David’s Hospital, Beirut. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Romans 13:8-14
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
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 foreign nationals unable to travel home, and for Americans abroad in the same condition. 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.