“Tell me the story slowly, that I may take it in— that wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin.”
—A. Katherine Hankey, 1866
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 Mark 1:40-41
To Jesus we cry: Cleanse us, O Lord!
By the mercy of Christ we are made clean.
Prayer Adapted from Carmina Gadelica
Thanks to you, O God, that I have risen today,
to the rising of life itself;
may it be to your own glory,
O God of every gift,
and to the glory of my soul likewise.
O great God, aid my soul
with the aiding of your own mercy;
even as I clothe my body with wool,
cover my soul with the shadow of your wing.
Help me to avoid every sin,
and the source of every sin to forsake;
and as the mist scatters
on the crest of the hills,
may each ill haze clear from my soul, O God.
Hymn of the Day
Be Still My Soul, sung a cappella by Eclipse 6. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
16 If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
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, and for the thousands who are dying. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients, and for Brandon Jantzen and his family— Brandon is experiencing continuing health problems after having Covid. Pray for your own sense of calling to Christian discipleship; find time to simply listen for God’s voice speaking to you. 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.
Whatever you do, in word or deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
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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.