“Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown…”
Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
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 116:8-9
You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from
I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
Prayer Feasting on the Word, 2012
Gracious God, as we travel through this Holy Week,
strengthen us to move beyond
the festive parade of palms
and to follow Jesus into the way of the cross,
that united with him and all the faithful,
we may one day enter through the gates of righteousness
into the eternal city, the New Jerusalem,
where we may praise you with Christ and the Holy Spirit forever.
Hymn of the Day
O Day of Peace, by Josh Garrels. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Matthew 22:23–33
23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
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, and of course for all those who have been affected by the winter storms. Please continue to pray for Mark Sabala, working as a nurse with Covid patients. Pray for Amanda Jantzen and for all those recently diagnosed with Covid, who remind us that the pandemic is far from over. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May God guide you through the desert places,
may Christ lead you into knowing him more deeply,
and the Holy Spirit fill you with faith overflowing:
that as you share in Christ’s suffering,
you will also trust the power of his resurrection.
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.