“…Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days, pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”
—-Robert Grant, 1833
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 Hebrews 10:23
Hold fast to your hope without wavering,
for God who has promised is faithful.
before the earth was formed
and even after it shall cease to be, you are God.
Break into our short span of life
and show us those things that are eternal,
that we may serve your purpose in all we do;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in unity with the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Just a Closer Walk With Thee, sung by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Isaiah 1: 11-20
11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who asked this from your hand?
Trample my courts no more;
13 bringing offerings is futile;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation--
I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you stretch out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.
18 Come now, let us argue it out,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be devoured by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
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. Pray for the thousands who are still being diagnosed positive in the U.S. each day, especially for Mario Berrios and his family. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Pray today for parents of children who are ill. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,
serve one another
with whatever gift each of you has received.
To God be the glory and the power
forever and ever. Amen.
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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.