“What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the heavy cross for my soul, for my soul…”
—American folk hymn, c. 1811
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 19:7
The law of the Lord revives the soul;
the word of God makes the simple wise.
Prayer Feasting on the Word, WJK Press, 2012
Gracious God, seeker of the lost:
draw your children back to your loving embrace,
restore us to our inheritance as daughters and sons,
and reconcile our hearts to you,
that we may become ambassadors
of your reconciling love to all the world.
Through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
The Call, by Celtic Woman. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Psalm 95
1 O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice!
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 when your ancestors tested me,
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they do not regard my ways.”
11 Therefore in my anger I swore,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
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 devastating winter storms. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients. Pray for our city, where all the current Covid variants have been found, that even as we venture out, we would continue to be aware of risk. 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.
Walk before God in faithfulness
and humbleness of heart,
and may the Lord God, in steadfast love,
keep covenant with you forever.
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.