“…from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.”
—-Charles Wesley, 1744
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 2 Peter 3:13
God has promised us a new creation
where righteousness will be at home.
Prayer Feasting on the Word, WJK Press, 2012
Blessed are you, Lord God:
for you have smiled on us this day
and redeemed us from our sin.
Give light to all who wait in darkness
until we rest with you in perfect peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
The Peace Carol, by John Denver and the Muppets. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Malachi 3:1-4
1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
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 and her husband; for Cindy and Eddye Stelchek; for Susan Smith’s brother-in-law John, who is still hospitalized with the virus after four weeks, and for Susan’s sister, who can’t visit him, and for Delphine Zarsky's niece's family. 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 the “long haulers,”— those for whom the virus causes extremely long lasting illness. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May starlight guide your steps towards this place of wonder
May angels sing their news as you travel to the manger
May promise fill these days as we watch at the edge of birth
and may faith tell you, Emmanuel will be with us soon, in human skin. Amen.
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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.