A note from Pastor Ron – March 27, 2020

Grace and Peace to you Zion!

For about 10 years or so, the regular use of Morning Prayer (Matins) and Evening Prayer (Vespers) has been the backbone of my personal devotional life. (I have attached a copy of the outline I use (at the bottom of this post); it’s based on the Lutheran Book of Worship pages 131-138.) With the COVID-19 threat changing everything around me, this discipline has become even more important for my spiritual, mental, and even physical health. It is important to me when I am praying these prayers to remember that I am not praying alone: The Holy Spirit joins all who pray together in one mystical communion, and I know many of my colleagues in ministry, and sisters and brothers in Christ all over the world and throughout history are praying these same prayers too.

Two special tables are needed to find the Scripture passages for each day: “Psalms for Daily Prayer” (page 178 in the Lutheran Book of Worship), and “Daily Lectionary,” (pages 179-192). Using the “Psalms for Daily Prayer,” I found that Psalm 126 was appointed for yesterday evening (Thursdays in Lent). This Psalm already has special meaning for me, because the ring Diane gave me when we were married has verse 3 inscribed inside so I am always wearing it on my heart finger. Now it has become even more important as it spoke directly to our realities as the church that cannot gather during this difficult time of self-isolation and physical distancing. Social media alternatives are helping many of us, but hugging a screen isn’t quite the same as passing the peace of Christ…. It is customary after praying a psalm to let the psalm guide your own personal prayers too. As I did that, this Psalm Prayer formed in my mind:

“Almighty God, it is your will to knit together your whole creation in one piece—the church, all of human society, and all your created things. As we pray that you restore the fortunes of Zion so we can meet together again in worship and praise and sacrament, so too we ask that you restore the watercourses of the Negev and bring all who go out weeping home again shouldering their sheaves; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.”

Until that glorious Day, let us not develop the habit of not meeting together as some have done. Let us use the “Virtual Church” services that Rosine is posting on our website and Facebook page. Look for the YouTube link there too. Maybe some of you would like to contribute by recording a lesson at home, or a contemporary worship song, or a hymn of encouragement, that you want to share with us all? We are solving technical issues in order to use Facebook messenger for our Bible Study, and Zoom for Confirmation Class.

And the 7 ELCIC Churches are working together to develop shared worship services. Here’s the note Pastor Mark Hedlin from Trinity Lutheran sent around this week: THE 7 CONGREGATION PARTNERSHIP is now planning to wait until after the Easter celebration to start taking turns “hosting” a worship each Sunday. Several congregations are encouraging members to tune in to Redeemer this weekend (http://www.redeemersaskatoon.ca/uploads/sermons/2020-03-29-Redeemer%20Lutheran-Web%20Service.mp3) to listen to the service they have put together.

So let’s keep in touch with each other too. We can use our Directory to call the person ahead of us and behind us in the listing. Let us know in the office if you don’t have a directory so we can mail you one. No matter where we are, we are still the church.

God bless and keep you all!

Pastor Ron 306-229-5982 or zion.pastor@sasktel.net

 

Find the 5th Sunday in Lent bulletin here

 

A BRIEF ORDER FOR MORNING PRAYER(Matins)

O Lord, open my lips: and my mouth shall declare your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen

The Lord is near to all who call on him: O come, let us worship him.

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God and a great king above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth; the heights of the hills are also his.

The sea is his, for he made it; and his hands have molded the dry land.

O come, let us bow down and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our maker.

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Lord is near to all who call on him: O come, let us worship him.

(A second psalm is sung or said. Consult the Psalms for Daily Prayer)

(A Hymn is sung)

(One or two Lessons are read. Consult the Daily Lectionary, Year Two)

In many and various ways God spoke to his people of old by the prophets.

But now in these last days he has spoken to us by the Son.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies,

From the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our ancestors,

And to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:

To set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear,

Holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

For you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

And to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen

(The Prayer of the Day is said)

(Others prayers may be said)

(In concluding the prayers, the leader says…)

O Lord, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us in safety to this new day; preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome in adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Lord, rememberus in your kingdom and teach us to pray: Our Father…

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The Lord almighty bless us, and direct our days and our deeds in his peace. Amen

 

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