When I tread the verge of Jordon, bid my anxious fears subside…
William Williams, 1745
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 13: 34
This is our new commandment in Christ:
As Jesus loves us, let us love one another.
Prayer Augustine of Hippo (c. 354-430)
O God, full of compassion,
I commit and commend myself to you,
in whom I am, and live, and know.
Be the goal of my pilgrimage,
and my rest by the way.
Let my soul take refuge
from the crowding turmoil of worldly thought
beneath the shadow of your wings.
Let my heart, this sea of restless waves,
find peace in you, O God. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Come, Thou Fount (Presbyterian Hymnal #356), sung by the Oakwood Aeolian Alumni Choir. Click here to listen and meditate on this favorite hymn.
Reading of the Day: Acts 1: 12-26
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16 “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17 for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms,
‘Let his homestead become desolate,
and let there be no one to live in it’;
‘Let another take his position of overseer.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23 So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
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, Debbi’s daughter Linda’s neighbors, Star Sims and her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, all hospitalized with the virus, Mary Warwick from TWRC, and the family of Lynn Thygessen, Donna Ardell’s cousin, who has died of the virus. Pray for those who have lost loved ones to the virus without being able to provide comfort to them. 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.
Now to the Sovereign eternal,
immortal, invisible, the only God,
be honor and glory for ever and ever. 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.