“Lord, you make the common holy: ‘This my body, this my blood.’”
—-Jeffrey W. Rowthorn, 1978
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 Luke 15: 9-10
Rejoice with me! The lost are found.
There is joy in the presence of God
Prayer The Office for Special Occasions, 1900
Students’ Morning Prayer
O Lord God, we humbly beseech thee to direct our thoughts and prayers this day; purify our hearts from every evil and false imagination, and may no vail and worldly desires have their abode in us. Keep us from all wandering looks and ways, from an undevout mind, and careless prayers. Let the voice of thy love enter our souls, that we may study thy word with reverence and holy fear, with fervor and delight. O God, thou seest us: help us to look up unto thee; for the sake of thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
John Rutter’s Gaelic Blessing, sung by the Edinburgh Singers at Greyfriar’s Kirk. Listen, pray, and receive this blessing.
Reading of the Day 1 Peter 2: 11-24
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.
13 For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, 14 or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. 16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
18 Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. 19 For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
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. Please pray for Mark Sabala, working with Covid patients as a nurse, Marcy Szeliga, working as a case investigator and contact tracer, for Sylvia Washer, for Jeanette and her family who’ve been heavily impacted, and for all who have been recently diagnosed with- or are recovering from- the virus. Pray for those who are in pain, that they would have comfort. 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 grace and peace be yours in abundance
in the knowledge and God and Jesus our Lord. Alleluia!
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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.