O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us…
—-Martin Rinkert, 1636
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 Mal. 1: 1-11
From the rising of the sun to its setting
my name is great among the nations,
says the Lord of hosts.
Prayer John Knox (c. 1513-1572)
O Lord, strengthen our faith.
Kindle it more in ferventness
and love towards you,
and our neighbors, for your sake.
Most dear Father,
do not let us receive your word in vain,
but grant us the assistance
of your grace and Holy Spirit,
that in heart, word, and deed,
we may sanctify and worship your name. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“Simple Song”, by Leonard Bernstein, from Mass. Pray as you listen.
Reading of the Day: Psalm 66: 1-7
1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.”Selah
5 Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
7 who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations--
let the rebellious not exalt themselves.
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, and for Connie’s Aunt Bonnie and her two cousins— Bonnie is hospitalized with the virus. Please pray for all those who are keeping things clean during this pandemic- janitors, cleaners in nursing homes, those who collect and dispose of our garbage— they are at special risk due to exposure through contact and we couldn’t live without them. 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.
The Lord bless you and keep you
in your going out
and your coming in
from this time on
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.