“Love caused Your incarnation, love brought You down to me…”
—-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 Philippians 4:4-5
Rejoice in the Lord; again, rejoice!
Be gentle to all: the Lord is near.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA), 2018
you have made us and all things to serve you.
Now prepare the world for your rule.
Come quickly to save us,
so that wars and violence shall end,
and your children may live in peace,
honoring one another with justice and love;
through Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Away in a Manger (Once in Royal David’s City), by Eric Clapton. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Isaiah 12:1-6
1 You will say in that day:
I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
and you comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And you will say in that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
call on his name;
make known his deeds among the nations;
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
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’s granddaughter Lauren and her friend Seth— both diagnosed 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 Spring Branch students, increasingly anxious to gather with groups of friends, that they would make good decisions. 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.