“Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for the Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.”
—-Edmund Louis Budry, 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 Joel 2:23
Be glad and rejoice in the Lord our God,
who pours down grace in abundance.
Prayer Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Fill us with holy love, O Lord,
and open the treasures of your wisdom to us.
You lone know all that we desire.
So perfect what you have begun in us,
and answer the prayers you instill in us,
through the stirring of your Holy Spirit.
Even as we seek your face,
turn to us and show us your glory.
Then our longing will be satisfied,
and our peace will be complete. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“It’s Quiet Uptown,” from Hamilton (the musical), a song about forgiveness and reconciliation. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Judges 5: 1-3, 12-13, 24-31
1 Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:
2 “When locks are long in Israel,
when the people offer themselves willingly--
bless the Lord!
3 “Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
to the Lord I will sing,
I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.
12 “Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
O son of Abinoam.
13 Then down marched the remnant of the noble;
the people of the Lord marched down for him against the mighty.
24 “Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
25 He asked water and she gave him milk,
she brought him curds in a lordly bowl.
26 She put her hand to the tent peg
and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
she struck Sisera a blow,
she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 He sank, he fell,
he lay still at her feet;
at her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell dead.
28 “Out of the window she peered,
the mother of Sisera gazed through the lattice:
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?’
29 Her wisest ladies make answer,
indeed, she answers the question herself:
30 ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoil?--
A girl or two for every man;
spoil of dyed stuffs for Sisera,
spoil of dyed stuffs embroidered,
two pieces of dyed work embroidered for my neck as spoil?’
31 “So perish all your enemies, O Lord!
But may your friends be like the sun as it rises in its might.”
And the land had rest forty years.
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. Pray for the thousands who are still being diagnosed positive in the U.S. each day. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Pray today for students, parents, and teachers in HISD, who are returning to in-person school this week. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
God’s love surround you, God’s Spirit guide you,
God’s whisper cheer you, God’s peace calm you,
God’s shield protect you, God’s wisdom arm you,
wherever God may lead you.
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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.