“Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord; eternal truth attends Thy word: Alleluia! Alleluia!”
—-Isaac Watts, 1719
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 Psalm 51: 10
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Prayer Syrian Orthodox
Rise up, O children of light, and let us give glory to the Lord who alone can save our souls. O Lord, as you withdraw sleep from the eyes of our body, grant us wakefulness of mind so that we may stand before you in awe and sing your praises worthily.
Hymn of the Day
The Irish Blessing, sung by members of over 300 Christian churches in Ireland. Listen, pray, and be blessed.
Reading of the Day Joshua 3: 14- 4: 7
14 When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. 15 Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16 the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing toward the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.
1When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: 2 “Select twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, 3 and command them, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua summoned the twelve men from the Israelites, whom he had appointed, one from each tribe. 5 Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.”
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 the Howell family, the Pena family, Mario’s friend Leah, her mother and her daughter, Carolyn Feigh, and for all others who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. Today pray a prayer of thanksgiving for all the places where the virus is declining, and deaths are disappearing. 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 God in endless mercy
bring the whole church,
the living and the departed,
to a joyful resurrection
in the fulfillment of the eternal kingdom. Amen.
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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.