“Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find, may Jesus Christ be praised!” —-German hymn, c. 1800
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 118
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Prayer Sisters of IHM, Scranton, PA, 2020
Loving God, Holy One,
Your desire is for our wholeness and well-being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future.
We pray: May love, not fear, go viral.
Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,
You, the God who does not abandon, You, the Holy One,
breathing within us,
breathing among us,
breathing around us
in our beautiful yet wounded world.
Hymn of the Day
Lift Every Voice and Sing, by James Weldon Johnson, led here by Kirk Franklin. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Romans 14: 1-9
14 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. 5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19. Please pray for Mark Sabala, working with Covid patients as a nurse, Marcy Szeliga, working as a case investigator and contact tracer, for the Howell family, the Pena family, Mario’s friend Leah, her mother and her daughter, Carolyn Feigh, and for all others who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. Today pray for those in the performing arts community, whose industry has been put on hold for the foreseeable future, that not only would they be able to support themselves and their families, but that they would once again be able to share their art with our communities. 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.
May the God of glory,
the Lord of life,
and the Spirit of truth
be with you all. 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.