…Lo! the hosts of evil round us, Scorn thy Christ, assail thy ways!
--Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1930
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 103: 8
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Gracious God, our way in the wilderness,
guide us, by your Word, through these uncertain days,
and minister to us with your Holy Spirit,
so that we may be reformed, restored, and renewed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day –
Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy (Celebration Hymnal #485) Written by John Hart in 1775 and set to a traditional American tune, this hymn recalls the story of the prodigal son returning to his father. This arrangement is for fiddle, dulcimer, and guitar.
Listen and pray along with this link:
Reading of the Day: Psalm 91
1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
4 he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day,
6 or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
or the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
the Most High your dwelling place,
10 no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
14 Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
15 When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them.
16 With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19, including Kay and Mark Sabala’s friend in California who has the virus, Mark Sabala in his work as a nurse at Willowbrook Hospital, Becky’s friend Scott and his family, Debbi’s daughter Linda and her family in New Jersey, and their neighbors, four of whom are sick with the virus. 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 love, who shared his love, strengthen us in our love for others.
May the Son who shared his life grant us grace, that we might share our life.
And may the Holy Spirit dwelling in us empower us to be only and always for others. 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.