Worship in the Home: August 30, 2020

Posted on August 25, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 22
August 30, 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.


Find a peaceful place to pray, perhaps a table. You may wish to light a candle near where you pray.
One person may lead in this acclamation and then pray the Prayer of the Day.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.


The Prayer of the Day may be prayed. 

Let us pray.
O God, we thank you for your Son, who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading:  Jeremiah 15:15-21

15O LORD, you know;
remember me and visit me,
and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance do not take me away;
know that on your account I suffer insult.
16Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
17I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
for you had filled me with indignation.
18Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail.

19Therefore thus says the LORD:
If you turn back, I will take you back,
and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you,
not you who will turn to them.
20And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to save you and deliver you,
says the LORD.
21I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

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


Psalm: Psalm 26:1-8 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

1Give judgment for me, O LORD, for I have lived | with integrity;
I have trusted in the LORD and | have not faltered.
2Test me, O | LORD, and try me;
examine my heart | and my mind.
3For your steadfast love is be- | fore my eyes;
I have walked faithful- | ly with you.
4I have not sat | with the worthless,
nor do I consort with | the deceitful.
5I have hated the company of | evildoers;
I will not sit down | with the wicked.
6I will wash my hands in inno- | cence, O LORD,
that I may go in procession | round your altar,
7singing aloud a song | of thanksgiving
and recounting all your won- | derful deeds.
8LORD, I love the house in | which you dwell
and the place where your glo- | ry abides.


Second Reading: Romans 12:9-21

9Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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


Gospel: Matthew 16:21-28

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

21From that time on, [after Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah,] Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

27“For the Son-of-Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son-of-Man coming in his dominion.”

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



Having read these readings, think of this:

We would often like to think that having faith in God should lead to an easy life. Jeremiah discovered the opposite. And in Matthew’s Gospel, Peter made a God-given confession last Sunday but this Sunday he opposes Jesus by arguing for that easy life. Still, what is it to “take up our cross?” This is not a call to invent new sufferings nor to think we will save ourselves nor to counsel other people to put up with injustice. Rather, we need to tell the truth about how the world is full of suffering and see that in sharing our sufferings and death, God in Christ saves us all and shows us a way to walk behind him. Paul gives detail to that way: taking no vengeance; associating with people who are considered lowly; weeping with those who weep; not claiming to be wiser than we are; persevering in prayer; rejoicing in hope — those are some of the traits of the way of the cross for us. In ordinary times we were able to be strengthened for this humble way by receiving the gift of Christ’s life-giving cross in the holy communion. But now, in this time of waiting, we can still gladly join Jeremiah in eating — trusting and taking deeply into our lives— the words we read.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 667); “Jesus Still Lead On” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 624).

Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said

Jesus, Still Lead On


As we gather separately and together in the Spirit, let us pray for the needs of the world, responding to each petition with the words, “In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.”

Caring for the church around the world, we pray —
for a spirit of ecumenical cooperation,
for the health of congregations during this difficult time,
for our bishops, pastors, deacons, and lay leaders. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God our Savior;
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

Seeing before us your good creation, we pray —
for the repair of what we have harmed,
for polar ice,
for lands dealing with oppressive heat,
for fields ravaged by storms and fires. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God our Creator:
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

Facing so many international problems we pray —
for the strengthening of democracies,
for peaceful resolutions to conflicts,
for the people of Belarus, Lebanon, and Yemen,
for researchers seeking a vaccine,
for racial justice within our nation,
for our legislators to assist the lives of the poor,
for an ethical election campaign. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God our mighty Fortress;
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

Surrounded by people with great and hidden need we pray —
for families frightened by the uncertain future,
for those whose homes have burned down,
for students deprived of effective education,
for refugees and for prisoners. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God our Hope,
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

Aware of all who are sick and suffering we pray —
for all who are facing the coronavirus,
for those without medical care,
for those we remember here before you. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God our Healer;
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

Confident of your love for us, we pray also for ourselves:

A longer period of silence.

Hear us, God our Friend;
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

Mindful of all who have gone before us in the faith, we offer our thanks —
for all the saints famous and forgotten,
for medical workers who have died of the virus,
for friends and family we have loved,
for the promise of everlasting life with you. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God our Homeland;
In your steadfast love, receive our prayer.

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 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 656); “Son of God, Eternal Savior” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 655).

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Son of God, Eternal Savior


Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

We thank you, O God, for your life-giving Word,
for calling creation into being,
declaring forgiveness from the cross,
and delivering the spirit of rebirth.
We praise you, O God, for your Word:
we praise you, O God, for your Word.

Your word is a lamp lighting our path,
a mirror reflecting our selves,
a shield providing us refuge,
a fire burning for justice and truth.
Your word is sweeter than honey:
it nourishes our bodies like milk,
it sustains your people like bread.
We receive your promises, more treasured than gold.
We bless you, O God, for your Word:
we bless you, O God, for your Word.

Open our ears to your prophets, apostles, and saints,
and to all the cries of the needy.
Breathe into your church the mighty Spirit of Christ,
that heeding your voice of beauty and power
we are strengthened to serve wherever we are called.

To you, Father, Son, and Spirit – the Source, Word, and Breath —
we offer our thanks for your life-giving Word:
we offer our thanks for your life-giving Word.



Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:

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.
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.


Then speak the Blessing:

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: “Where Charity and Love Prevail,” “My Hope is Built,” “What Wondrous Love Is This.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 17. Tuesday Revelation 3:7-13. Wednesday (commemoration of Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig, bishop, renewer of the church, died 1872) Jeremiah 17:5-18. Thursday Psalm 119:33-40. Friday Romans 10:15b-21. Saturday Ezekiel 33:1-6. Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost Ezekiel 33:77-11; Psalm 119:33-40; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20.


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

Reflection text: 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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