“In cheerful sound all voices raise and fill the world with joyful praise. Alleluia! Alleluia!”
—-Isaac Watts, 1719
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 45: 8
Drop down the dew from above, O heavens,
and let the clouds rain justice.
Let the earth’s womb be opened,
and bring forth a Savior.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA)
you have shown us your glory in Christ, the Word made flesh.
Your light is strong, your love is near.
Draw us beyond the limits which this world imposes,
to the life where the Spirit makes all life complete,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“Oh Happy Day,” by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation. Listen, rejoice, and pray!
Reading of the Day Joshua 3: 1-13
1 Early in the morning Joshua rose and set out from Shittim with all the Israelites, and they came to the Jordan. They camped there before crossing over. 2 At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3 and commanded the people, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place. Follow it, 4 so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, a distance of about two thousand cubits; do not come any nearer to it.” 5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6 To the priests Joshua said, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass on in front of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went in front of the people.
7 The Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. 8 You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 9 Joshua then said to the Israelites, “Draw near and hear the words of the Lord your God.” 10 Joshua said, “By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11 the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to pass before you into the Jordan. 12 So now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a single heap.”
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19. Please pray for Mark Sabala, working with Covid patients as a nurse, Marcy Szeliga, working as a case investigator and contact tracer, for the Howell family, the Pena family, Mario’s friend Leah, her mother and her daughter, Carolyn Feigh, and for all others who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. Today pray for college students making decisions about how to proceed this year, either online or in person. 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 God in endless mercy
bring the whole church,
the living and the departed,
to a joyful resurrection
in the fulfillment of the eternal kingdom. 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.