Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, Great God of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
—-Ancient Irish Poem, trans. Mary E. Byrne, 1905
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 Lamentations 3: 22-23
The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy never cease,
fresh as the morning and sure as the sunrise.
Prayer Book of Common Worship (1993)
God our creator,
yours is the morning and yours is the evening.
Let Christ the sun of righteousness
shine forever in our hearts
and draw us to that light
where you live in radiant glory.
We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
The Petersons sing “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” Pray as you hear this song, arranged and sung in such a beautiful way by this faithful family.
Reading of the Day: Ephesians 4: 25-32
25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil. 28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19, including Mark Sabala and Marcy Szeliga in their work as nurses, Linda and Mario Berrios and their family, Debbi’s neighbors and all others who are out of work, Star Sims’ family and Donna Ardell’s family, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for Connie’s Aunt Bonnie and her two cousins— Bonnie is recovering from the virus at her nursing home— thanks be to God! Please pray for our church leadership, as Session meets again tonight to make decisions about how to move forward. 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 the Lamb upon the throne
be your shepherd,
guiding you to the water of life,
and wiping away every tear.
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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.