“For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child, friends on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild.…”
—Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864
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 Genesis 9:12
God’s promise is for all generations;
God’s covenant is with every living thing.
Prayer Mechtild of Magdeburg, 1210-80
Lord, since thou hast taken from me all that I had of thee, yet of thy grace leave me the gift which every dog has by nature, that of being true to thee in my distress, when I am deprived of all consolation. This I desire more fervently than thy heavenly kingdom.
Hymn of the Day
Morning Prayer, by Langhorn Slim. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Romans 5:12—19
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— 13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. 16 And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. 19 For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
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 hospitalized patients, that they may heal and be well again. Pray for the family of Mary James, who died of Covid and other health problems; Mary was Mark Downs’ boss and the owner of Essential Hospice. 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 Spirit of the triune God
strengthen and sustain you,
all throughout these forty days
and into the life that is to come. Amen.
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.