Worship in the Home: February 14, 2021

Posted on February 9, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Transfiguration of Our Lord /
Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year B
February 14, 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.

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.
Amen.

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

Almighty God, the resplendent light of your truth shines from the mountaintop into our hearts. Transfigure us by your beloved Son, and illumine the world with your image, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

 

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

First Reading:  2 Kings 2:1-12

1Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

4Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.” 6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its drivers!” But when Elisha could no longer see Elijah, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

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

 

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

Psalm 50:1-6

1The mighty one, God the | LORD, has spoken;
calling the earth from the rising of the sun | to its setting.
2Out of Zion, perfect | in its beauty,
God shines | forth in glory.
3Our God will come and will | not keep silence;
with a consuming flame before, and round about a | raging storm.
4God calls the heavens and the earth | from above
to witness the judgment | of the people.
5“Gather before me my | loyal followers,
those who have made a covenant with me and sealed | it with sacrifice.”
6The heavens declare the rightness | of God’s cause,
for it is God | who is judge.

 

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

3Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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

 

Gospel: 9:2-9

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

2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

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

 

Reflection

Having read these readings, think on this:

In the Gospel according to Mark, the identity of Jesus—who Jesus really is—is repeatedly hidden in a secret. Here, in today’s text, after Peter and the others see Jesus in shining clothing talking with Moses and Elijah—the two Old Testament figures who were taken to be with God, the two who stand for all the law and the prophets—and after they hear the very voice of God bearing witness to him, they then see only Jesus—just the man Jesus—and he tells them to say nothing until after the resurrection. Though they do not understand, they will soon enough see him killed, hidden in death. Now, this Sunday, we gather on the day of resurrection. And the hidden truth is to be told openly in our assemblies and in our homes. Mark’s Gospel is that truth being told now. In its text, also we hear the voice from the mountain. In the power of the Spirit, the light of Jesus Christ shines in our hearts. What we see is not only the shining Son of God, but the Jesus who has gone to the cross, God with us in our suffering. That is the secret. Acting out of that hidden light we are invited to join Paul in serving others.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “How Good, Lord, to Be Here” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 315), Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 631), “Dazzling Presence on the Mountain” (All Creation Sings 917). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

How Good, Lord, to Be Here!

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Dazzling Presence on the Mountain

 

Then pray these intercessions:

On this last Sunday after Epiphany, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all people in need, responding to each petition with the phrase, “Alleluia! Amen.”

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

O God of light, we pray for communities of faith around the globe, for our own congregation, for our pastor(s), and for all Christians who cannot gather for communal worship. Show us your face in the darkness, and speak your word of power to all the faithful.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

O Morning Star, we pray for the earth, for life forming in the dark earth and ocean depths, for creatures seen and unseen, and especially for the animals who require cold and ice. Give us your Spirit’s guidance in our stewardship of the planet.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

O Sun of righteousness, we pray for our nation’s elected leaders, for attorneys and juries, and for all who work for justice in our land. Give to them all integrity in service and courage to choose what is right. We pray for our citizenry, that prejudice cease, that resentment about the election wane, and that violence be averted.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

Beautiful Savior, we pray for all who suffer from Covid-19, for medical workers, and for all who await the vaccine. We pray for those enduring famine, for those experiencing homelessness, for the people of Yemen, and for all who live in war zones. We pray for all who are ill, for all who receive no medical care, and for those we name here before you: . . . Heal them with your loving might.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

Love divine, we pray for those who especially on this Valentine’s Day feel lonely, for those who are abandoned, and for those who must live apart from their dear ones, especially for the children separated from their parents at our nation’s border. Embrace all who are alone with your care.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

Shine, Jesus, shine, also on me, and receive the petitions of my heart.

A longer period of silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

We remember before you all who have died in the faith, especially the missionaries Cyril and Methodius and the reformer Martin Luther, and for those we name here before you. . . . Be with us in our every darkness, until at our end we join with the saints in your everlasting light.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God:
Alleluia! Amen.

O holy Trinity, Light-Creator, Light of Light begotten, and Light-Revealer, receive our praise and hear our prayers, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Beautiful Savior” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 838), In Thee Is Gladness” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 867). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Beautiful Savior

In Thee Is Gladness

 

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.
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.
Amen.

 

Then speak the Blessing:

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

Many keep the ancient practice of fasting from singing or speaking “alleluia” through the 40 days of Lent. Especially in homes with children, you might consider the practice of “burying” the alleluia at the end of this service, or before Ash Wednesday. This might include singing a song such as “Alleluia, Song of Gladness” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 318) or another hymn of acclamation with many alleluias. A visible alleluia such as a banner or fabric strips with the word “alleluia” may be buried or hidden in a box. The alleluia should return with great joy at the first alleluias of the Easter season, perhaps at the Vigil of Easter liturgy.

Alleluia, song of gladness

 

Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Hymn to Christ the Light;” “How Good, Lord to Be Here;” “Dazzling Presence on the Mountain.”

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 110:1-4. Tuesday Job 19:23-27. Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21. Thursday (commemoration of Martin Luther, renewer of the church, 1546) Psalm 25:1-10. Friday 2 Timothy 4:1-5. Saturday Matthew 9:2-13. First Sunday in Lent Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15.

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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