"As with a mother’s tender hand, God gently leads the chosen band…”
—-Johann Jacob Schultz, 1675
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 55: 11
The word of the Lord will not return empty;
it will accomplish all that God intends.
As the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist hides the hills,
as the clouds veil the blue of the sky,
so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of thy face from me.
Yet, if I may hold your hand in the darkness, it is enough.
Since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, thou dost not fall.
Hymn of the Day
“The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” by students at Lee University in Tennessee. Listen and pray, receiving this blessing.
Reading of the Day Philippians 2: 12-18
12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. 16 It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you— 18 and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19. Please pray for Mark Sabala, working with Covid patients as a nurse, Marcy Szeliga, working as a case investigator and contact tracer, for Romie, whose father passed away recently and whose mother has now died of the virus, for Sylvia Washer, and for all who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. Please pray for people working in meat packing plants and other factories, where infections spread fast, that they would be safe. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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.