From everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. —-Isaac Watts, 1719
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 1 John 4: 7, 19
Beloved, let us love one another.
We love because God first loved us.
Prayer* Rev. Claudia Aguilar Rubalcava
We give you thanks to you, O Holy One,
to you who strengthens the weak,
to you who sides with the oppressed,
you who establishes justice throughout the universe,
for Mexico and her people,
for the beauty of her culture,
the smells, the colors, the flavors.
We give thanks for her people,
for their warmth, creativity, and resilience.
We give thanks for her traditions that we have adopted and adapted,
for her citizens that we have welcomed and embraced,
and for those we have rejected and exploited.
We ask that you care for our neighbor country
and that you open our eyes to see her beauty,
our taste buds to enjoy her food,
and our hearts to embrace her people
for in you we are all siblings.
Hymn of the Day
Dios Esta Aqui (God is Here Today), Glory To God #411, performed by Sophia De Alba. Listen and give thanks.
Reading of the Day: Matthew 5: 11-16
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19, including Mark Sabala and Marcy Szeliga in their work as nurses, Linda and Mario Berrios and their family, Debbi’s neighbors and all others who are out of work, Star Sims’ family and Donna Ardell’s family, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones. On this Cinco de Mayo, let us think about Mexico as more than food and parties— let us remember and pray for our southern neighbors who have been hit by the virus as well. 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 hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
*Today’s Daily Prayer honors the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army in the Battle of Puebla. Mexico had been invaded over debt with the European country and defeated the most successful army in the 19th century. Celebrations of Cinco de Mayo take place in the city of Puebla while the rest of the country takes a day off from work.
Rev. Claudia Aguilar Rubalcava, minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA), wrote our prayer and suggested our hymn today. She was born and raised in Mexico and is currently serving as pastor of Denver’s First Mennonite Church. Thank you Claudia!
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.