“God be with you till we meet again; keep love’s banner floating o’er you, smite death’s threatening wave before you…”
—Jeremiah Eames Ranken, 1880
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 Luke 4:18, 21
Jesus said: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
May the word of God be fulfilled among us.
Prayer Walter Brueggemann, 2008
We are strange mixtures of loss and hope.
As we are able, we submit our losses to you.
We know about sickness and dying,
about death and mortality,
about failure and disappointment.
And now for a moment we do our
failing and dying in your presence,
you who attend to us in loss.
As we are able, we submit our hopes to you.
We know about self-focused fantasy
and notions of control.
But we also know that our futures
are out beyond us,
held in your good hand.
Our hopes are filled with promises of
well-being, justice, and mercy.
Move us this day beyond our fears and anxieties
into your land of goodness.
We wait for your coming,
We pray for your kingdom.
In the meantime, give us bread for the day.
Hymn of the Day
Take and Eat This Bread, by Paul Tate, performed by the GSus Band, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Greenwich Village, NY. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12 What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.
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 those studying new strains of the virus and determining how to protect the public from them. 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.
Now may the Lord of peace
give you peace at all times
and in all ways.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all of you.
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.