“God be with you till we meet again; unseen wings protecting hide you, daily manna still provide you…”
—Jeremiah Eames Ranken, 1880
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 111:1-2
Give thanks to God with your whole heart.
Great are the works of the Lord.
Prayer St. Brigid of Ireland, c. 451-525
I should like a great lake of finest ale,
for the King of Kings.
I should like a table
of the choicest food,
for the family of heaven.
Let the ale be made
from the fruits of faith,
and the food be forgiving love.
I should welcome the poor to my feast,
for they are God’s children.
I should welcome the sick to my feast,
for they are God’s joy.
Let the poor sit with Jesus
at the highest place,
and the sick dance with the angels.
God bless the poor, God bless the sick,
and bless our human race.
God bless our food,
God bless our drink,
all homes, O God, embrace.
Hymn of the Day
Draw Us in the Spirit's Tether, sung at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Columbia, SC, Mark Husey, organist. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day 1 Corinthians 1: 18-31
18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in 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 the thousands who are still being diagnosed positive in the U.S. each day, and for the thousands who are dying. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga, working as a nurse in a COVID ICU unit; for Frances Gutierrez and her daughters, all recovering from the virus at home; and for Brandon Jantzen and his family— Brandon is experiencing continuing health problems after having Covid. Pray for there to be enough food for everyone who is in need— pray that our food banks, community pantries, and school distribution sites would be overflowing with donations as well as volunteers to manage them. 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.
Now may the Lord of peace
give you peace at all times
and in all ways.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all of you.
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.