“What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul…”
—American folk hymn, c. 1811
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 Romans 5:5
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit
God’s love is poured into our hearts.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA), 2018
your kingdom has broken into our troubled world
through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son.
Help us to hear your word and obey it,
that we may become instruments of your saving love;;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Lead Me, Guide Me, by First Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn Heights, NY, choir and congregation, with soloist Ben Smith. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Exodus 17:1—7
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
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, and of course for all those who have been affected by the devastating winter storms. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients. Pray thanksgiving that teachers in Texas can get vaccinated now, so that they would be safe and schools would have fewer interruptions. 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.
Walk before God in faithfulness
and humbleness of heart,
and may the Lord God, in steadfast love,
keep covenant with you forever.
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.