Worship in the Home: Sunday, August 16, 2020

Posted on August 11, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 20
August 16, 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.
God of all peoples, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of your Son to love the world with compassion and constancy, that your name may be known throughout the earth, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading:  Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

1Thus says the LORD:
Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed.

6And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
to minister to the LORD, to love the name of the LORD,
and to be the LORD’s servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
and hold fast my covenant—
7these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.
8Thus says the LORD God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
besides those already gathered.

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


Psalm:  Psalm 67 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

1May God be merciful to | us and bless us;
may the light of God’s face | shine upon us.
2Let your way be known | upon earth,
your saving health a- | mong all nations.
3Let the peoples praise | you, O God;
let all the | peoples praise you.
4Let the nations be glad and | sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity and guide all the na- | tions on earth.
5Let the peoples praise | you, O God;
let all the | peoples praise you.
6The earth has brought | forth its increase;
God, our own | God, has blessed us.
7May God | give us blessing,
and may all the ends of the earth | stand in awe.


Second Reading: Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

[Paul writes:] 1I ask, then, has God rejected the chosen people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2aGod has not rejected the people whom ages ago God chose.

29For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32For God has imprisoned all in disobedience in order to be merciful to all.

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


Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

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

21Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24Jesus answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26Jesus answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

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



Having read these readings, think of this:

If we tell the truth, we all are among the disobedient, as Paul so clearly says. We also are rightly among the foreigners, standing with the outsider woman, begging for help. We too are the dogs, with no right to the bread. But God holds all together in mercy, the ancient covenant people of the Jews but also those of us from the many peoples who have been gathered by the Lord. From Isaiah, from Paul, and from the Gospel according to Matthew, Christians have been learning the humility of the woman: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs.”  Because of his cross and resurrection, Jesus Christ makes bread available to all the peoples, including us — the bread of the eucharist when we can gather, but always the bread of his healing word. And so we come to see our neighbor in a stunning new way: another needy person beside us, under God’s mercy.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Day by Day” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 790); “In Christ There Is No East or West” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 650); “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 588).

In Christ There Is No East or West (Harmony)

There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy (LORD, REVIVE US) (Melody)


Confident of your care and upheld by the Holy Spirit, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need, responding with the Canaanite woman to each petition “Help us, O Lord.”

A brief silence.

We pray for the Christian church around the world,
for humility where the church is dominant,
for courage where it is oppressed,
and for faithfulness when it cannot assemble for worship:

A brief silence.

Bless your church, faithful God:
help us, O Lord.

We pray for your bountiful earth,
for cleaner air,
for the fields on which our food grows,
for the renewal of lands and waters that have suffered from disregard:

A brief silence.

Protect your earth, creative God:
help us, O Lord.

We pray for the nations of the earth,
for the peaceful resolution of disputes around the world,
for just policies that care for the poor,
and for the upcoming political conventions in our land:

A brief silence.

Save humankind, sovereign God:
help us, O Lord.

We pray for all in need of healing,
for the residents of Beirut and other distressed cities,
for those suffering from hurricane damage,
for those sick and dying of COVID-19,
for the unemployed,
for people without medical care,
for medical workers and researchers,
for the outcasts of our society,
and for those we name here:

A brief silence.

Heal the sick, merciful God:
help us, O Lord.

We pray for a spirit of respect between the world’s religions,
for wisdom concerning the many houses of prayer,
and for guidance where religion serves as an arm of the government:

A brief silence.

Direct all people of faith, gracious God:
help us, O Lord.

We pray for schools around the globe,
for educators who must plan for the fall,
and for children without the resources to access remote learning:

A brief silence.

Guide us, compassionate God:
help us, O Lord.

We pray, finally, for ourselves,
for whenever we feel tormented by demons,
and for all our family and friends:

A longer period of silence.

loving God:
help us, O Lord.

We mourn the deaths of those we love,
and we praise you for the lives of all your faithful people.
At the end, gather us all into the joy of your presence.

A brief silence.

Grant us salvation, eternal God:
help us, O Lord.

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


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Jesus Shall Reign” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 434); “Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 886).

Jesus Shall Reign (Harmony)

Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing (Harmony)


Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Praise and thanks to you, holy God, for by your Word you made all things:
you spoke light into the darkness, called forth beauty from chaos, and brought life into being. For your Word of life, O God,
we give you thanks and praise.

By your Word you called your people Israel to tell of your wonderful gifts:
freedom from captivity, water on the desert journey, a pathway home from exile, wisdom for life with you. For your Word of life, O God,
we give you thanks and praise.

Through Jesus, your Word made flesh, you speak to us and call us to witness:
forgiveness through the cross, life to those entombed by death, the way of your self-giving love. For your Word of life, O God,
we give you thanks and praise.

Send your Spirit of truth, O God; rekindle your gifts within us: renew our faith, increase our hope, and deepen our love, for the sake of the world in need. Faithful to your Word, O God, draw near to all who call on you; 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 are only able provide downloadable hymns that are in the public domain. Other suggestions provided above may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. 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: “May God Bestow on Us Grace,” “Creating God Your Fingers Trace,” “When to the World the Savior Came.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 87. Tuesday Romans 11:13-20. Wednesday Matthew 8:1-13. Thursday (commemoration of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, died 1153) Psalm 138. Friday Ezekiel 31:15-18. Saturday Ezekiel 36:33-38. Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20.


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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