Worship in the Home: November 8, 2020

Posted on November 4, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Lectionary 32, Year A
November 8, 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.

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

O God of justice and love, you illumine our way through life with the words of your Son. Give us the light we need, and awaken us to the needs of others, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading:  Amos 5:18-24

18Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD!
Why do you want the day of the LORD?
It is darkness, not light;
19as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.
20Is not the day of the LORD darkness, not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?

21I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

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


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

Psalm 70

1Be pleased, O God, to de- | liver me;
O LORD, make | haste to help me.
2Let those who seek my life be put to shame | and confounded;
let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and | be disgraced.
3Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat | over me
turn back because | of their shame.
4Let all who seek you rejoice and be | glad in you;
let those who love your salvation say forever, “Great | is the LORD!”
5But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me quick- | ly, O God.
You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, | do not tarry.


Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For that very Lord, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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


Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

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

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“Then the dominion of heaven will be like this.

Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Sir, sir, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you. 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

As the darkness around us grows and the vegetation dies, Christians turn to think of the end of our lives and the end of time. All three readings today join in that thinking. Amos warns us not to imagine that the day of the Lord will be wonderful for us unless we have done justice to our neighbors. Matthew warns us to stay awake; without wisdom we could be excluded in the end. But Paul uses old cosmological imagery to assure us that the death and resurrection of Christ brings life to all, the living and the dead. In fact, for Christians, the wedding feast has already started. Though we have often slept, Jesus Christ has stayed awake for us and has shared with us his oil. In Christ’s death and resurrection God’s marriage with the earth has begun. And even though many of us cannot gather together for the feast now, the Holy Spirit kindles for us the lamp of the word. By the light of that word let us begin again to do justice in a needy world. And no matter who has been elected, as concerned citizens let us call for them to do justice as well.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 244), Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 436), “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” (All Creation Sings). Links to hymns in the public domain are provided below.

Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers

Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying

Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning


Then pray these intercessions:

Longing for Christ’s reign to come among us, we pray for God’s power to come upon the church, the world, and all in need, responding to each petition with words from today’s psalm, “O Lord, make haste to help us.”

A brief silence.

Holy God, rouse us to prayer and praise, both when we gather for worship and when we cannot. Sustain all those who help us to worship at this time.

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy Creator, delight us with the autumn beauty of your earth. At this change of seasons, give the animals what they need for survival.

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy Peacemaker, give peace to our conflicted nation. Quell all attempts at violence and halt the desire for retribution. Cure our nation from prejudice of every kind. Teach us how to abide together as one diverse people. Restore families and friendships torn apart by political differences.

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy Sovereign, grant that all newly elected officials of government will work faithfully for the common good. Give them wisdom, honesty, and humility. Illumine their convictions with a spirit of cooperation.
If the next president has been named: Bless especially President-elect name. Pour upon him and upon all his advisors a right spirit of dedication to justice and truth.
If the next president has not yet been named: Give to our nation patience as it awaits the presidential election results.

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.       

Holy Protector, bless the observance of Veterans Day. Bring armistice to areas of conflict and keep safe the military who serve in harm’s way. Give to all the armed forces a dedication to defend the common good. Heal the wounds, both physical and emotional, experienced by active and retired service members.

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy Healer, bring health and wholeness to those who are sick, those who live with chronic pain, and the thousands who daily contract COVID-19. Console those who feel lonely or abandoned. Protect those living in resettlement camps. Uphold medical care workers, especially in third-world countries. We pray especially for those we name here before you. . .

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy Beloved, form us into a people close to your heart, and receive now our silent petitions:

A longer period of silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy and immortal One, we remember before you all who have died in the faith, especially the military and the civilians who died in armed conflicts, and those we name before you here…. At the end, bring us with them to be with our Lord forever.

A brief silence.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Receive these prayers for the same of him who lived, died, and rose for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Blessed Assurance” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 638), Let Streams of Living Justice” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 710). Links to hymns in the public domain are provided below.

Blessed Assurance


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

O Holy One of wisdom, throughout human history and today among us here, you call us to walk the paths of justice and peace. We praise you, O God of truth, for your precious words. Grant that sheltered under their richness as under the tree of life, we live in gratitude and faithfulness, through Jesus Christ, your Word and our Wisdom, now and forever. 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:

May the God of all creation,
in whose image we are made,
who claims us and calls us beloved,
who strengthens us for service,
give you reason to rejoice and be glad!

The blessing of God,
Sovereign, + Savior, and Spirit,
be with you today and always.


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “It is Well With My Soul;” “Rejoice and Let Your Lights Appear;” “The Beautiful Land.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 63. Tuesday 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13. Wednesday (commemoration of Martin, Bishop of Tours, died 397; Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, teacher, died 1855) Matthew 24:29-35. Thursday Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12. Friday Ezekiel 7:1-9. Saturday Matthew 12:43-45. Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30.

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. Selected hymns from the forthcoming All Creation Sings will be available in Worship in the Home as copyright restrictions allow.

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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