Let streets and homes with praises ring. Love, drowned in death, shall never die.
Brian Wren, 1968
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 Isaiah 25: 7, 9
The Lord has swallowed up death forever. Be glad and rejoice! God is our salvation.
Prayer John Calvin (1509-1564)
Save us, Lord,
from being self-centered in our prayers,
and teach us to remember to pray for others.
May we be so caught up in love
for those for whom we pray,
that we may feel their needs as keenly as our own,
and pray for them with imagination,
sensitivity and knowledge.
we ask this in Christ’s name. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Thine Is the Glory (Presbyterian Hymnal #122.) Today’s music is provided by the original Mennonite Hour Singers. Listen and pray along with this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK0I9vj2QlI
Reading of the Day: Matthew 28
1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.
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, Debbi’s daughter Linda’s neighbors, Star Sims’ sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, all hospitalized with the virus, Mary Warwick from TWRC, and David Lewallen and Delphine Zarsky who have been exposed to the virus. Pray for children and adults who are unsafe at home, whose only safe place is at school or work, who are in danger of abuse, hunger, and insecurity during this time. 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.
Christ is risen! Do not be afraid.
Go and tell this good news to all.
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.