…Cure thy children’s warring madness, bend our pride to Thy control...
-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 147:5-6
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise.
Fill us with your Spirit, that we may celebrate your glory
and worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day –
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (Presbyterian Hymnal #142)
Listen and pray along with this link:
Reading of the Day: Mark 10: 1-9, 13-16
1 He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
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 as he works 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.
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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.