Worship in the Home: January 10, 2021

Posted on January 5, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Baptism of Our Lord, Year B
January 10, 2021

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.

In this time of national crisis, you are encouraged, as always, to further contextualize the intercessions as needed for your context. Additional prayers for the nation and times of conflict, crisis and disaster can be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (pp. 76-77) and in All Creation Sings (p. 49-51). The Great Litany (ELW #238) and the prayers of lament in All Creation Sings would also be a helpful resource in this time (pp. 61-66). The worship resources composed for the Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine include a petition specific to our nation and the scourge of white supremacy.

Find a peaceful place to pray, perhaps a table. You may wish to light a candle and place a bowl of water in remembrance of your baptism. One person may lead 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.

Holy God, creator of light and giver of goodness, your voice moves over the waters. Immerse us in your grace, and transform us by your Spirit, that we may follow after your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


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

First Reading:  Genesis 1:1-5

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness God called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

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


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

Psalm 29

1Ascribe to the | LORD, you gods,
ascribe to the LORD glo- | ry and strength.
2Ascribe to the LORD the glory | due God’s name;
worship the LORD in the beau- | ty of holiness.
3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of | glory thunders;
the LORD is upon the | mighty waters.
4The voice of the LORD is a pow- | erful voice;
the voice of the LORD is a | voice of splendor.
5The voice of the LORD breaks the | cedar trees;
the LORD breaks the ce- | dars of Lebanon;
6the LORD makes Lebanon skip | like a calf,
and Mount Hermon like a | young wild ox.
7The voice | of the LORD
bursts forth in | lightning flashes.
8The voice of the LORD | shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilder- | ness of Kadesh
9The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe and strips the | forests bare.
And in the temple of the LORD all are | crying, “Glory!”
10The LORD sits enthroned a- | bove the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king for- | evermore.
11O LORD, give strength | to your people;
give them, O LORD, the bless- | ings of peace.


Second Reading: Acts 19:1-7

1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3Then Paul said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” 4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied—7altogether there were about twelve of them.

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


Gospel: Mark 1:4-11

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

4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “After me the one who is more powerful than I is coming; the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptized you with water; but the one who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

Many people go out to John, confessing their sins and hoping his baptism will be the sign of a new age, an indication of God creating all things anew. We, too, hope for such a new beginning and we, too, have been baptized, confessing our sins. Jesus also is baptized, hidden among us sinners, joining us in longing for a new age. But, in the text, only he sees something utterly new: the torn-open heavens and the descending dove. Only he hears the voice of God declaring him the beloved Son. But we hear too! This voice over the waters comes here, where we are reading these texts. Jesus Christ, whose identity continues to be hidden in Mark’s Gospel until he is finally hidden by the crucifixion, is revealed to us as living in the word and sacraments of the church, a word we today may hear in our homes. In encountering Jesus Christ, we see and hear the holy Trinity, the Voice from above the heavens, the Son in the water, and the descending Spirit, making all things new, as if the creation of Genesis 1 is all around us again, as if Noah’s flood is finally over. Our baptism gathers us into the life of the Trinity, making us, like the ancient Christian Ephesians, witnesses to this new creation.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 304),I Bind unto Myself Today” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 450). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

I Bind unto Myself Today


Then pray these intercessions:

On this Sunday of the baptism of our Lord, let us offer our prayers for all in need, responding to each petition with words from today’s psalm, “Give us your blessings of peace.”

A brief silence.

For the worldwide church; for those who minister in the church; for all who will be baptized this year; and for their godparents and sponsors: that the Holy Spirit will empower the faithful to renounce all that draws us from God and shape us for lives of service, justice, and peace, let us pray. 

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

For the waters of the earth; for the seas, the lakes, the rivers; for the wells that provide drinking water; and for the water that is piped into our homes: that God provide clean and nourishing water for all living things, let us pray.

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

For the nations of the world and their leaders; for the United States in the midst of civil unrest and turmoil; for our elected leaders and their families; for police officers; for peacemakers; and for the health of relationships with other nations: that God fill us with courage and strength for these days, let us pray.

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

For our nation facing the evil of white supremacy; for those lured by hatred and violence; for all dealing with new and lasting trauma; for prophets who proclaim uncomfortable truths: that as your beloved creation, God inspire all people to work for the harmonious well-being of others.

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

For students; for teachers and school administrators; for parents assisting their children in home schooling; and for young people who are finding a way toward graduation: that as the academic year resumes, God give resilience to everyone in the search for education, let us pray.

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

For all who are in trouble, want, or sickness; for the countless who are suffering with COVID-19; for medical workers; for people who are hungry or homeless, imprisoned or lonely; and for those we name here. . . .: that God grant health and wholeness to a world so filled with pain, let us pray.

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

For ourselves: that we rejoice in our adoption as members of God’s family, and that now in this silence we bring to God our heart’s requests, let us pray.

A longer period of silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

In gratitude for our beloved dead, especially . . . , we offer our praise for all the baptized who have accompanied us and supported us and taught us throughout our days; that at our end we join with them in everlasting joy, let us pray.

A brief silence.

O God, give strength to your people.
Give us your blessings of peace.

Almighty and most merciful God, you are the mighty Voice from heaven, you are our beloved Savior, you are the descending Dove. We give you thanks for all your goodness and tender mercies, and we ask you to accept our prayers for the sake of your mercy, today and forever.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Beautiful Savior” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 838), Wade in the Water” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 459 / This Far By Faith 114); “Born, Reborn” (All Creation Sings 956). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Beautiful Savior

Wade in the Water

Born, Reborn


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Holy God,
Light of the universe, Teacher of truth, Giver of goodness,
we hear your Word in the Scriptures,
proclaiming to us your wisdom
and inviting us to follow your call.
For speaking this Word, we thank you, O God.
We thank you, O God.  

Your Word came among us in Jesus, our brother,
who preached your righteousness, healed the sick,
and revived the brokenhearted.
For giving us this Word, we worship you, O God.
We worship you, O God.

By your Spirit bless all who receive this Word,
that upheld by the mystery of the body of Christ,
we may be light for the world,
revealing the brilliance of your Son.
For sustaining us with your Word, we praise you, O God.
We praise you, O God.

Blessed are you, holy God, around us, with us, and in us,
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:

God the creator strengthen you;
Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter + keep you in peace.


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness;” “Borning Cry;” “Spirit of the Lord.”

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36. Tuesday Acts 22:2-16. Wednesday Isaiah 41:14-20. Thursday Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18. Friday (commemoration of Martin Lutheran King, Jr., renewer of society martyr, 1968) Acts 13:16-25. Saturday 1 Samuel 2:21-25. Second Sunday after Epiphany: (commemoration of Antony of Egypt, renewer of the church, c. 356; Pachomius, renewer of the church, 346) 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51.

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 and selected hymns for limited use. Other suggestions provided above may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. To purchase copies of Evangelical Lutheran Worship and All Creation Sings for the home, visit the Augsburg Fortress website or call 1-800-328-4648. Selected hymns from All Creation Sings will be provided for limited use.

Reflection text: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, All Creation Sings, and sundaysandseasons.com © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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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