“The bread and wine remove, but you are here, nearer than ever, still our shield and sun.”
—-Horatio Bonar, 1855
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 Sentence Mark 4: 31-32
The kingdom of God is like a tiny mustard seed;
it grows into a great plant with many branches.
Prayer A Gaelic Blessing
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.
Hymn of the Day
I haven’t heard many songs that communicate the basic beliefs of the church this joyfully. This is African Credo— I Believe. Listen and pray. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLxKgBHCIUM
Reading of the Day Psalm 147: 12-20
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14 He grants peace[b] within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down hail like crumbs--
who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!
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, for the Howell family, and for all others who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Please pray for the leaders of the Texas Medical Center, with the difficult job of coordinating between hospitals and communicating complicated data to the public. May they have clarity of thought and of speech as they know your support. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
As God’s own,
clothe yourself with compassion,
kindness, and patience,
forgiving each other
as the Lord has forgiven you,
and crown all these things with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
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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.