A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an evening gone… —-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 John 10:11
Jesus said: I am the good shepherd.
Christ lays down his life for the sheep.
Prayer Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Give me, O my Lord,
that purity of conscience
which alone can receive your inspirations.
My ears are dull,
so that I cannot hear your voice.
My eyes are dim,
so that I cannot see the signs of your presence.
You alone can quicken my hearing
and purge my sight,
and cleanse and renew my heart.
Teach me to sit at your feet
and to hear your word. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
I Believe, by Mark Miller, based on words of a poem written inside a concentration camp during WWII.
Performed by the Youth Choir of Church of the Messiah UMC, 2015, on their summer tour-- in a surprising location! Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day: Matthew 5: 17-20
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
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, Linda and Mario Berrios and their family, Debbi’s neighbors and all others who are out of work, Star Sims’ family and Donna Ardell’s family, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones. And today let us pray particularly for all of our school district food service workers, who continue to provide meals for families in need, especially as so many more are food insecure. 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 hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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.