Worship in the Home: Sunday, April 26, 2020

Posted on April 21, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Third Sunday of Easter
April 26, 2020

In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While you cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this brief resource as an aid for prayer in the home. As with our prayers in the gathered assembly for worship, you are encouraged to prepare or adapt them locally for your context.  


The Prayer of the Day may be prayed. 

Let us pray.
O God, your Son makes himself known to all his disciples in the breaking of bread. Open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in his redeeming work, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Then the readings for this Sunday may be read, as follows:

First Reading: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
14aPeter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed [the people . . .]
36“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified to be both Lord and Messiah.”

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls.” 40And Peter testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

Word of God, Word of Life.
Thanks be to God.


Psalm:  Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

1I love the LORD who has | heard my voice,
and listened to my | supplication,
2for the LORD has given | ear to me
whenev- | er I called.
3The cords of death entangled me; the anguish of the grave | came upon me;
I came to | grief and sorrow.
4Then I called upon the name | of the LORD:
“O LORD, I pray you, | save my life.”
12How shall I re- | pay the LORD
for all the good things God has | done for me?
13I will lift the cup | of salvation
and call on the name | of the Lord.
14I will fulfill my vows | to the LORD
in the presence of | all God’s people.
15Precious in your | sight, O LORD,
is the death | of your servants.
16O LORD, truly I | am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me | from my bonds.
17I will offer you the sacrifice | of thanksgiving
and call upon the name | of the LORD.
18I will fulfill my vows | to the LORD
in the presence of | all God’s people,
19in the courts of | the LORD’s house,
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. | Hallelujah!


Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-23

17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20Christ was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through Christ you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

22Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

Word of God, Word of Life.
Thanks be to God.


Gospel: Luke 24:13-35

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

13Now on that same day when Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And Jesus said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then Jesus said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how Jesus had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.



Having read these readings, think of this:

The Psalm speaks of the “cords of death” and the “anguish of the grave.” It is as if all the world now is bound by such cords, held in such anguish. And, unlike the disciples at Emmaus, we cannot now see the risen Lord in the breaking of the bread of the holy communion nor can we run to other gatherings of people to tell them what we have seen. But the risen Christ opens to us the word of the scriptures. We recognize him there. We have been born anew by his word and received the gift of the Holy Spirit by baptism in Christ’s name. The risen one stays with us in our homes, is present at our meals, and blesses us in our worst distresses. And in the future we will again “lift the cup of salvation” together as we did in the past. We will again run to tell others. The promise is for us all.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “In Thee Is Gladness.(Evangelical Lutheran Worship 867) 

In Thee Is Gladness


Prayers of Intercession

Then pray together these prayers for our church and world:

Separated in our residences but united by God’s promises of restoration, we pray for the church, the earth, the world, and all who are in need, echoing today’s psalm with the response, give ear to us.

A brief silence.

Come to the church, so burdened by heartache. Give us faith to know your loving presence among us. Open the scriptures to us, and nourish us with the bread of your word. Direct our clergy and church leaders (especially), in their novel and difficult tasks. Bind into one all denominations around the globe in hope for the renewal of all things, and uphold the work of the World Council of Churches.

A brief silence.

O God our merciful Savior,
give ear to us.

Come to the earth. Bless all the natural world. Renew landscapes, cleanse the waters, and protect the animals. Save your people especially at this time from destructive storms and floods. Keep viruses in check, for the sake of your beloved humans.

A brief silence.

O God our benevolent Gardener,
give ear to us.

Come to the nations. Preserve all peoples from war and violence. Guide the leaders of nations, our president, our governors, and our legislators toward wise decisions in struggling against the virus and in reviving the economy. Teach all peoples how to share limited resources with those in greater need. Guide the work of the United Nations during this unprecedented situation.

A brief silence.

O God our mighty Peacemaker,
give ear to us.

Come to all who suffer from the virus. Comfort the mourners, heal the sick, sustain medical workers. Empower those researchers who are seeking a vaccine. Stay with us, and accompany all those who are isolated or afraid. Give to those with prior ailments and chronic disease their necessary medical care. Especially we pray for those we name here before you (especially):

A brief silence.

O God our compassionate Healer,
give ear to us.

As at Emmaus you joined the meal of the disciples, so come also to our tables. Uphold farmers, ranchers, migrant workers, and all who produce, package and market our food. Guard the health of those who work at grocery stores. Bless the efforts of local food banks. Enable us to feed the children who have relied on food given out at school. Show us how to feed the people living in refugee camps and nations experiencing famine and drought.

A brief silence.

O God our generous Provider,
give ear to us.

Walk with us on our roadways, whether marked with sorrow or joy, and receive our petitions, both sad lament or fervent praise.

A longer period of silence.

O God our beloved Companion,
give ear to us.

Accept our praises for those who have died in the faith, including those who stricken with the virus, the medical workers who died healing others, and this week Catherine of Siena, the apostles Philip and James, and Bishop Athanasius, each of whom served you in their own time and place. Accompany us now, as you did them, until at the end of all things we feast at your table with all the saints in glory.

A brief silence.

O God, the Mystery of Life,
give ear to us.

With bold confidence in your providence, O holy and gracious God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our saving Lord.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphics below), you might now sing or read “Abide, O Dearest Jesus” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 539) or ” Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!” (ELW 377)

Abide, O Dearest Jesus

Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!

Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Almighty God, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord’s resurrection. Give us also the joys of life in your service, and bring us at last to the full joy of life eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.


The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The God of all grace  ☩ bless us now and forever.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Christ is Alive! Let Christians Sing”; “We Arise This Day.”

Readings for the Week:

Monday Psalm 134. Tuesday 1 Peter 2:1-3. Wednesday (commemoration of Catherine of Siena, theologian, died 1380) Exodus 24:1-11. Thursday Psalm 23.  Friday (Philip and James, Apostles) John 14:8-14. Saturday (commemoration of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, died 373) Ezekiel 34:1-16. Fourth Sunday of Easter Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10.

Daily Prayer Resources are now available, including simple forms of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer; Responsive Prayer; and prayers for mealtimes and other occasions.

Reflection material: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and sundaysandseasons.com, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress.

Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.

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