“Your people long to greet You, my hope, my heart’s delight!”
—-Paul Gerhardt, 1653
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 Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
God sends good news to the oppressed.
Prayer Christine Sine, 2012
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait in joyful expectation,
Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,
Shed your light on all that is filled with darkness.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait with hope filled hearts,
Draw close, God’s beloved son,
Teach us the wonder of your all embracing love.
Hymn of the Day
Night of Silence, sung by the Vancouver Children’s Choir. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Zephaniah 3:14-20
14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18 as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19 I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.
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 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; for Delphine Zarsky’s niece’s family; for Becky’s friend Vanessa, whose husband died from the virus; and for Gloria Thomas' granddaughter Lauren and her friend Seth-- both tested positive. 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 safe and quick delivery of the vaccine to the hospitals. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the God of peace make you holy
and the power of the Spirit sustain you
until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!
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.