“For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!”
—Katharine Lee Bates, 1893
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 John 1:36, 39
Look, here is the Lamb of God!
Jesus calls us: Come and see.
Prayer Sarum Primer (c. 1514)
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at my end, and at my departing. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
40, by U2. This is a musical setting of Psalm 40. Listen and pray. https://youtu.be/0sd5di1vgTM
Reading of the Day Psalm 40:1-11
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
7 Then I said, “Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
11 Do not, O Lord, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe forever.
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 with the virus, and for Brandon Jantzen and his family— Brandon is experiencing continuing health problems after having Covid. Please pray for our new elders who will be installed this week, coming on Session at a time unlike any other, that they would face our new challenges with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. 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.
Brothers and sisters, your dreams should not go unnoticed.
God knows your dreams.
Now dare to dream out loud
So the world may discover what you and God can do.
Release every God-given dream,
So that others may be inspired to do likewise.
To the author of every good and noble dream, we give all honor and praise. 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.