Worship in the Home: Sunday, May 10, 2020

Posted on May 5, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 10, 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.
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Give us grace to love one another, to follow in the way of his commandments, and to share his risen life with all the world, for he 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 7:55-60

55Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged Stephen out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

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


Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

1In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be | put to shame;
deliver me | in your righteousness.
2Incline your | ear to me;
make haste to de- | liver me.
3Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag | and my stronghold;
for the sake of your name, lead | me and guide me.
4Take me out of the net that they have secretly | set for me,
for you are my tow- | er of strength.
5Into your hands I com- | mend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me, O LORD, | God of truth.
15My times are | in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who | persecute me.
16Let your face shine up- | on your servant;
save me in your | steadfast love.”


Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10

2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4Come to the Lord, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture:
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in it will not be put to shame.”
7To you then who believe, it is precious; but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of the one who called you out of darkness into the marvelous light of God.
10Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

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


Gospel: John 14:1-14

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

[Jesus said:] 1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen my Father.”

8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

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



Having read these readings, think of this:

Thomas knows neither the way nor where Jesus is going. Philip wants to see God. These disciples stand for us, now, in our need and confusion. But Jesus himself is the way, the truth, and the life. He is himself the presence of God. The amazing thing is that he goes to God now by going to the cross, and he makes that place of suffering to be the very dwelling place of God with us. Henceforth, in every place of suffering we see the risen Christ already there, like Stephen sees him coming. In Jesus, God has mercy on us and makes us together the house of God and the witnesses to God’s mighty acts. In the Spirit, Jesus’ words come to us, to our own homes, and make our homes to be part of this house of God with many rooms. In this difficult time, we can at least turn to our neighbors with our prayers and gifts, for God’s mercy is for all.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 619) or “I Received the Living God.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 477)

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Received the Living God


Then pray together these prayers for our church and world:

Still worshiping from our homes, but with our hearts bonded into one, let us pray for all who are in need, responding to each petition with words from today’s psalm, “make haste to deliver us.”

A brief silence.

Build us up, mothering God, that like living stones we embody the strength that only you can give. Nurse all the baptized with the milk of your word. As you provided the early church with the apostle Matthias, fill now the churches’ needs for leaders to serve your holy people.

A brief silence.

O God, incline your ear to us:
Make haste to deliver us.

Form us to be humble participants in your complex creation. We praise your power in evolving a magnificent earth, from flowering trees to tropical rainstorms, from black holes to beloved pets. Lead us to respect your wondrous earth with both all that creates and all that destroys.

A brief silence.

O God, incline your ear to us:
Make haste to deliver us.

Assist the leaders of nations to find and follow your ways of justice. Guide their way through the  challenges of pandemic and poverty. Protect governors and legislators from sickness and burn-out. Despite our own considerable needs, keep us mindful of the needs of others, especially refugees and prisoners.

A brief silence.

O God, incline your ear to us:
Make haste to deliver us.

Accompany those who are sick, sorrowful, or confused. Comfort them in suffering, ease their distress, and carry their burdens. We beg you to protect us from the coronavirus, and we pray for those we name in our hearts before you.

A brief silence.

O God, incline your ear to us:
make haste to deliver us.

Sustain those who mother infants and children. Uphold the parents and grandparents who now must school their children. Provide enough food and resources for families. Grant safe pregnancy and delivery to expectant parents, and minister to those who endure infertility and miscarriage. Bless the countless relatives, medical workers, and hospice volunteers who give to others mothering care. Embrace all for whom today’s cultural celebration of mothers is difficult.

A brief silence.

O God, incline your ear to us:
Make haste to deliver us.

Always, loving God, we are bold to add our own petitions:

A longer period of silence.

O God, incline your ear to us:
Make haste to deliver us.

We remember before you for all who have died in the faith, those like Stephen martyred for the faith, those struck down by the coronavirus, and those whom we name now in our hearts.

A brief silence.

At the end, bring us all to you, who are our way, our truth, and our life.

O God, incline your ear to us:
Make haste to deliver us.

With bold confidence in your love, almighty God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our Lord.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Alleluia! Jesus is Risen” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 377) or “You Are the Way” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 758). 

Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!

You Are the Way


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: “Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen”“Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life”; “Love Is Come Again.

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 102:1-17. Tuesday Proverbs 3:5-12. Wednesday John 8:31-38. Thursday (Matthias, Apostle) Luke 6:12-16. Friday Genesis 7:1-24. Saturday John 14:27-29. Sixth Sunday of Easter Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21.

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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