“I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder; thy power throughout the universe displayed…”
—Carl Gustav Boberg, 1885
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 Isaiah 60:1
Arise, shine; for your light has come!
The glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA), 2018
Holy One, giver of all light,
lift up our hearts and minds to Christ,
the morning star that never fades.
By the light of your Holy Spirit
reveal to us your saving Word
and lead us to offer our lives to you
in service and in love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
The Prayer of St. Francis, by the Burns Sisters. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Jeremiah 31: 7-14
7 For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
“Save, O Lord, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”
8 See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
those with child and those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
9 With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”
11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
and they shall never languish again.
13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14 I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says 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. Please pray especially for Susan Smith's brother-in-law John. John has been in the hospital for five weeks, has suffered extensive organ damage, and is currently intubated. His family is naturally distraught, especially with the limitations on visiting him. Pray today for students and teachers returning to school, both in person and remotely. 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.
Proclaim the good news,
be persistent in prayer,
do the work of the gospel,
and carry out the ministry
of Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.