Worship in the Home: Sunday, May 3, 2020

Posted on April 28, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 3, 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 our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, 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 2:42-47

42[The baptized] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and common life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

43Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Psalm: Psalm 23 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

1The LORD | is my shepherd;
I shall not | be in want.
2The LORD makes me lie down | in green pastures
and leads me be- | side still waters.
3You restore my | soul, O LORD,
and guide me along right pathways | for your name’s sake.
4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall | fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence | of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the | LORD forever.


Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:19-25

19It is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20If 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. 21For 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.”

23When abused, Christ did not return abuse; when suffering, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Gospel: John 10:1-10

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

[Jesus said:] 1“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run away because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

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



Having read these readings, think of this:

There are lots of “thieves and robbers” about. That is, there are church leaders who do not present the gospel and there are political leaders who serve only themselves. The Bible calls such leaders “false shepherds.” But in the Bible the Good Shepherd, the one who gathers the flock and does not misuse or kill them, is God.  In his death and resurrection, Jesus — who is called the Lamb of God — becomes our Good Shepherd. By his wounds we were healed. In the current valley of death he is with us. In the scriptures, as in the preaching of faithful pastors and the witness of each other, we hear his voice, calling us by name, and turning us again, as well as we can now, toward people in need.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “My Shepherd, You Supply My Need.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 782)

My Shepherd, You Supply My Need


Then pray together these prayers for our church and world:

Penned up in our homes but united in the one flock of believers, we pray for the church, the earth, the world, and all in need, asking God our Shepherd using the words, “restore our life.”

A brief silence.

For the church, O God, we pray: that we will hear and follow your voice calling to us in the word; that bishops and pastors be sustained for their shepherding tasks; that churches devastated by the virus be upheld; that in this time churches find ways to continue their ministries of education and service:

A brief silence.

O God, faithful shepherd of the church,
restore our life.

For the earth we pray: that lands and waters be renewed; that animals and plants enjoy safe growth; that rain and soil nurture the fields; that drought and floods in Yemen be averted and locusts of Kenya cease their frenzy:

A brief silence.

O God, steadfast gardener of the earth,
restore our life.

For the nations of the world we pray: that heads of state and legislators cooperate for the good of all; that medical experts be heeded; that government moneys serve the nations’ greatest needs; that during Ramadan Muslims are granted release from prejudice:

A brief silence.

O God, fearless peacemaker of the nations,
restore our life.

For a world so economically divided, we pray: that the millions of those unemployed be given food and shelter now and jobs in the future; that children find a fruitful means of education; that refugees be safeguarded from violence and prejudice; that, inspired by the early Christians, those who have means become ever more generous to those who endure great want:

A brief silence.

O God, just protector of the poor,
restore our life.

For all in need we pray: that those afflicted with the coronavirus be cared for; that the sick be healed; that those in despair find hope; that those who are lonely be comforted; that medical workers be safeguarded; that those we name here receive the best possible care:

 A brief silence.

O God, mighty healer of the sick,
restore our life.

For our own desires we pray: that like the shepherds Rachel and David, each tending their father’s flocks, we will be blessed for the fulfilling our tasks; and that you hear the cries of our hearts:

A longer period of silence.

O God, tender shepherd of each of us,
restore our life.

We praise you for those who have died in the faith, remembering this week: Monica, Julian of Norwich, Nicholaus Zinzendorf, and those we name before you here. . .
We pray that at our end, as sheep of your own fold, as lambs of your own flock, we will be gathered into your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

A brief silence.

O God, gateway to life,
restore our life.

Into your everlasting arms we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your care for us, through Jesus Christ, our guardian and friend.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 502) or “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 789)

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us


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, ” What a Friend We Have in Jesus”; “Filled with His Voice”; “Shepherd of Souls”;


Readings for the Week:
Monday (commemoration of Monica, mother of Augustine, died 387) Psalm 100. Tuesday Hebrews 13:20-21. Wednesday Jeremiah 23:1-8. Thursday Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16. Friday (commemoration of Julian of Norwich, renewer of the church, died around 1416) Exodus 3:1-12. Saturday (commemoration of Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, renewer of the church, hymnwriter, died 1760) Jeremiah 26:20-24. Fifth Sunday of Easter Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14.

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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