“To God and to the Lamb who is the great I Am, while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing…”
—American folk hymn, c. 1811
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 Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Prayer Sarum Primer, 11th C.
Maker of the world, King eternal, have mercy on us.
Fount of boundless pity, have mercy on us.
Drive away from us all that is harmful, have mercy on us.
Christ, the Light of the world, giver of life, have mercy on us.
Look on those wounded by the craft of the devil; have mercy on us.
You preserve those who believe on you, and you strengthen them, have mercy on us.
Your Father, you, and the Spirit proceeding from both, have mercy on us.
We know you to be one God, and three persons, have mercy on us.
Be present with us, O Counselor, that we may live in you, have mercy on us.
Hymn of the Day
Ah, Holy Jesus, with reed organ, by Sufjan Stevens. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day John 2:13-22
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
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, and of course for all those who have been affected by the devastating winter storms. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients. Pray for children whose mental health has suffered as a result of the shut downs and school changes, that they would receive the help they need and be at peace. 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.
Walk before God in faithfulness
and humbleness of heart,
and may the Lord God, in steadfast love,
keep covenant with you forever.
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.