Worship in the Home: October 25, 2020

Posted on October 20, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Lectionary 30
Reformation Sunday
October 25, 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.

Some worshiping communities choose to celebrate Reformation Sunday on this Sunday preceding Reformation Day on October 31. Others continue with the assigned readings for the Time after Pentecost. Those readings are used in this resource. Worship in the Home for Reformation Day is also available including resources from The Lutheran World Federation.

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.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

O Lord God, you are the holy lawgiver, you are the salvation of your people. By your Spirit renew us in your covenant of love, and train us to care tenderly for all our neighbors, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading:  Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

1The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:

2Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

15You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

17You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

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


The Psalm may be sung or read in response to the First Reading.

Psalm 1

1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel | of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats | of the scornful!
2Their delight is in the law | of the LORD,
and they meditate on God’s teaching | day and night.
3They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that | do not wither;
everything they | do shall prosper.
4It is not so | with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind | blows away.
5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when | judgment comes,
nor the sinner in the council | of the righteous.
6For the LORD knows the way | of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked shall | be destroyed.


Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

1You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children. 8So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

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


Gospel: Matthew 22:34-46

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

34When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35and one of them, a lawyer, asked Jesus a question to test him. 36“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the greatest and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: 42“What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 Jesus said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
44‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?
45If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” 46No one was able to give Jesus an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

Two principles mark the Christian way to read the Bible: First, loving God and neighbor is all the law. And second, the crucified Jesus Christ is Lord. But here is the deep truth, a truth we rightly repeat to our shame: “We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.” What shall we do?  Where do we turn? In the crucified and risen Jesus Christ we meet the very Lord who is holy, and here is his holiness: even more than Paul who was his follower, this Jesus shares with us his very own self, doing so in the word and, when we can come to it, in the supper. Forgiven by this gospel of God, we are made free in the Spirit to turn in love to our neighbor again. Such is the heart of any commemoration of the Reformation.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “When the Poor Ones” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 725), Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 750). Links to hymns in the public domain are provided below.

Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart


Then pray these intercessions:

Let us offer our prayers to God, responding to each petition with the words “Grant us your tender care.”

A brief silence.

On this day commemorating the Reformation, O God, we pray: that Christian churches around the globe be reformed and renewed; that ecumenical collaboration be widened and deepened; and that Lutherans stand firm in the gift of the gospel. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, holy God:
Grant us your tender care.

Attending to the natural earth, O God, we pray: that the seas and lands be cleansed of pollution; that both rainstorms and droughts be moderated; and that animals retain their habitat. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, steadfast God:
Grant us your tender care.

Aware of disorder around the world, O God, we pray: that wars and armed terrorism cease; that violent extremism everywhere be calmed; that governments meet the needs of their poorest residents; that the days before our election be peaceful; and that all prejudice based on gender, color, orientation or ethnicity be rejected. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, sovereign God:
Grant us your tender care.

Facing the coronavirus, O God, we pray: that the pandemic and its anxieties subside; that medical personnel and services be everywhere supported; that any who are unemployed find work and all who have been evicted finding housing; and that a trustworthy vaccine be developed. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, compassionate God:
Grant us your tender care.

Moved by the needs of all our neighbors, O God, we pray: for those suffering from discrimination; for those incarcerated or held in immigrant camps; for farmworkers and their children; for all who are hungry; and for those we name here before you. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, mothering God:
Grant us your tender care.

Thinking lastly of ourselves, O God, we pray: that we be enabled to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that you receive our personal petitions. . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, loving God:
Grant us your tender care.

Grateful for the lives of all who have died in the faith, especially for all the people whose efforts reformed and renewed the church, O God, we pray that at the end we join with them in your glory:

A brief silence.

Hear us, eternal God:
Grant us your tender care.

Enfold in your loving arms all for whom we pray, as we trust in your might and your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “I Love to Tell the Story” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 661), O Christ, Your Heart, Compassionate” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 722). Links to hymns in the public domain are provided below.

I Love to Tell the Story


Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Glory to you, O God, for your creative Word:
making and mending all things,
evoking the cosmic hymn of praise,
and singing a love-song for your beloved:
your vineyard, your flock, your people.
With all creation we sing, Glory!  Glory!

Blessed are you for your liberating Word:
speaking through Moses and the prophets,
encountered in the Gospels,
and proclaimed in the assembly:
your freedom, forgiveness, and life for the world.
With the whole world we say, Blessing!  Blessing!

Holy are you, O God, for your living Word:
among us wherever we gather,
welcoming everyone to your feast,
and, with grace and generosity,
bringing to earth the kingdom of heaven.
With saints and angels, we cry, Holy!  Holy!

Clothe us in your loving Spirit,
flowing from the Crucified and Risen One,
and keep us awake to your presence
in the people and places you call us to serve.
Glory, praise, and blessing are yours, Holy God,
now and forever. Amen.  Amen.


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.
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.


Then speak the Blessing:

Mothering God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless you and lead you into the way of truth and life.


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “The Poor and the Refugee;” “Love Your Neighbor;” “A New Commandment.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday (commemoration of Philipp Nicolai, died 1608; Johann Heermann, died 1647; Paul Gerhardt, died 1676; hymnwriters) Psalm 119:41-48. Tuesday James 2:14-26. Wednesday (Simon and Jude, Apostles) John 14:21-27. Thursday Psalm 43. Friday 2 Peter 2:1-3. Saturday (Reformation Day) John 8:31-36. All Saints Day Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12.


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

Due to copyright restrictions, we are only able to 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.

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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