“All creatures, your Creator bless, and worship God in humbleness. O sing ye! Alleluia!”
—-Francis of Assisi, 1225
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 Galatians 5:1, 25
For freedom Christ has set us free.
Now we live by the Spirit of God.
Prayer Berakoth (Blessings), from the Talmud
Close mine eyes from evil,
And my ears from hearing idle words,
And my heart from reflecting on unchaste thoughts,
And my veins from thinking of transgression.
Guide my feet to walk in thy commandments
And thy righteous ways,
And may thy mercies be turned on me.
Hymn of the Day
When Peace Like A River (It Is Well), performed by Anthony Ferreira and Josiah Hamill. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Exodus 16: 1-8
1 The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
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 Dr. Marshall Cash, working directly with COVID patients in Shreveport, LA, President Trump and all his associates, and the hundreds more in Houston who are diagnosed positive each day. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Pray today for artists, singers, and actors, who are not able to use their gifts during these months. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,
serve one another
with whatever gift each of you has received.
To God be the glory and the power
forever and ever. Amen.
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.