“Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.”
—A. Katherine Hankey, 1866
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 1 Corinthians 9:23
Do all things for the sake of the gospel.
So we may share in the blessings of God.
Prayer Christina Rosetti (1830-1894)
As the wind is your symbol, so forward our goings.
As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations.
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge out our dross. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Baba Yetu (Our Father), sung by the Stellenbosch University Choir, South Africa, 2018. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24 whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25 that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
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 and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients, and for Brandon Jantzen and his family— Brandon is experiencing continuing health problems after having Covid. Pray for producers and distributers of the vaccine, that they may work safely and efficiently. 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.
Whatever you do, in word or deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
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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.