Worship in the Home: Sunday, July 19, 2020

Posted on July 14, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 16
July 19, 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.
Faithful God, most merciful judge, you care for your children with firmness and compassion. By your Spirit nurture us who live in your kingdom, that we may be rooted in the way of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading:  Isaiah 44:6-8

6Thus says the Lord, the Sovereign of Israel,
and Israel’s Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
Let them tell us what is yet to be.
8Do not fear, or be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
You are my witnesses!
Is there besides me any other deity?
There is no other rock; I know not one.

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


Psalm:  Psalm 86:11-17 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

11Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk | in your truth;
give me an undivided heart to re- | vere your name.
12I will thank you, O Lord my God, with | all my heart,
and glorify your name for- | evermore.
For great is your | love toward me;
you have delivered me from the | pit of death.
14The arrogant rise up against me, O God, and a band of violent people | seeks my life;
they have not set you be- | fore their eyes.
15But you, O Lord, are gracious and full | of compassion,
slow to anger, and full of kind- | ness and truth.
16Turn to me and have mer- | cy on me;
give your strength to your servant, and save the child | of your handmaid.
17Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be | put to shame;
because you, Lord, have helped me and com- | forted me.


Second Reading: Romans 8:12-25

12So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with Christ so that we may also be glorified with Christ.

18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

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


Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

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

24Jesus put before the crowd another parable: “The dominion of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”

36Then Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37Jesus answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son-of-Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of God’s dominion; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son-of-Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his dominion all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the dominion of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

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



Having read these readings, think of this:

We certainly know groaning right now. Indeed, in this difficult time, the whole creation seems to be groaning. And, amid signs of awful division between people in our land, we are tempted to try to weed the field ourselves, to try tear out and eliminate whoever we think is a “weed.” But the parable warns us that we would be torn apart ourselves; we all are both wheat and weed. Rather, as Isaiah says, only God is the judge, and we are to be witnesses to God’s patience and mercy. Furthermore, Paul invites us to hope. Our groaning prayer is the very Spirit of God in us, forming us to trust God as a dear father, bearing witness in us that because of Christ we are children of God. We groan for the world together with Jesus in the garden and on the cross. Then, in his resurrection, Christ makes us to be pure wheat. In God’s great harvest we can be made into bread for our neighbor.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “We Plow the Fields and Scatter” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 681).

We Plow the Fields and Scatter (WIR PFLÜGEN)

Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast


Confident of God’s care for us in the midst of the world’s sufferings, we join together in the power of the Spirit to pray for the church, the earth, the world, and all who are in need, responding to the words “Teach us your way” with the phrase “you are full of compassion.”

A brief silence.

God of the church, we praise you for sowing the good seed of the gospel throughout the world, and we mourn that at this time many Christians cannot assemble to nurture one another for growth in the faith. Tend your people; support bishops, pastors, deacons, and lay leaders; give us strength through your word. Lead seminaries to plan appropriately for the fall semester.

A brief silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

God of the earth, we praise you for a wondrous creation, and we mourn that many lands and seas are groaning for rebirth. Nurture our green spaces and national parks; send rain where there is drought; protect engendered animals from poachers. Show us how to care for your earth and its creatures.

A brief silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

God of the nations, we praise you for the good that has been given us in this country, and we mourn that many people here are poor and dispossessed, that we have allowed racism to distort our society, that violence breaks out in our land. Lead us to form communities in which all people are equal and where disputes are settled without violence. Save us from preserving a past that has been harmful to many. Bring an end to warfare around the world, and mend the torn fabric of humankind with your truth and mercy.

A brief silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

God of humankind, we praise you for wherever health and happiness prevail, and we mourn that many people suffer. Each day thousands more contract the virus; renters are facing eviction; medical workers are exhausted; some of the sick have no access to health care; countless people are broken by sorrows. Open our hearts to your children who suffer in any way, and show us how to serve them.

A brief silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

God of the seasons, we praise you for summertime, and we mourn that this year many hopes and expectations are denied. Give relief to those who suffer from the heat. Protect travelers from infection. Guard our children. Give rest to those with no vacation time, hope to those who are unemployed, and patience to all who must endure this difficult time.

A brief silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

God, you are Abba, our loving Father. You are our Sovereign of our lives, our Redeemer, the Rock on which we build. Hear us as we offer the petitions of our hearts.

A longer time of silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

God of eternity, we praise you for all who have died in the faith, especially this week the apostles Mary Magdalene and James. We mourn our own beloved dead. At the end, bring us all into the shining light of your presence.

A brief silence.

O God, teach us your way:
you are full of compassion.

In the certain hope that nothing can separate us from your love, we offer these prayers to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Blessed Assurance” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 638).

Blessed Assurance


Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

O God of justice and love, we give thanks to you that you illumine our way through life with the words of your Son. Give us the light we need, awaken us to the needs of others, and at the end bring all the world to your feast; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory 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.

Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.


Due to copyright restrictions, we can only provide downloadable hymns that are in the public domain with this resource. To purchase a copy of Evangelical Lutheran Worship for the home, visit the Augsburg Fortress website or call 1-800-328-4648.

 Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “I Sing the Love that Dreamed Creation;” “Sing Praise to God;” “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 75. Tuesday Galatians 4:21 — 5:1. Wednesday (Mary Magdalene, Apostle) John 20:1-2, 11-18. Thursday (commemoration of Birgitta of Sweden, renewer of the Church, died 1373) Psalm 119:129-136. Friday Acts 7:44-53. Saturday (James, Apostle) Mark 10:35-45. Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119:26-39; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52.


Daily Prayer Resources are 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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