Worship in the Home: March 7, 2021

Posted on March 2, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Third Sunday in Lent, Year B
March 7, 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.

Holy God, through your Son you have called us to live faithfully and act courageously. Keep us steadfast in your covenant of grace, and teach us the wisdom that comes only 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:  Exodus 20:1-17

1God spoke all these words: 2I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before me.

4You shall not make for yourself and idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses the divine name.

8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
13You shall not murder.
14You shall not commit adultery.
15You shall not steal.
16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

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

 

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

Psalm 19

1The heavens declare the glo- | ry of God,
and the sky proclaims its | maker’s handiwork.
2One day tells its tale | to another,
and one night imparts knowledge | to another.
3Although they have no | words or language,
and their voices | are not heard,
4their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends | of the world,
where God has pitched a tent | for the sun.
5It comes forth like a bridegroom out | of his chamber;
it rejoices like a champion to | run its course.
6It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of | it again;
nothing is hidden from its | burning heat.
7The teaching of the LORD is perfect and re- | vives the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom | to the simple.
8The statutes of the LORD are just and re- | joice the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light | to the eyes.
9The fear of the LORD is clean and en- | dures forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous | altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, more than | much fine gold,
sweeter far than honey, than honey | in the comb.
11By them also is your ser- | vant enlightened,
and in keeping them there is | great reward.
12Who can detect one’s | own offenses?
Cleanse me from my | secret faults.
13Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion | over me;
then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a | great offense.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable | in your sight,
O LORD, my strength and | my redeemer.

 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

18The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

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

 

Gospel: John 2:13-22

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

13The Passover of the Jewish people was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18The Judeans then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Judeans then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But Jesus was speaking of the temple of his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

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

 

Reflection

Having read these readings, think on this:

While we may not buy cattle or doves to give to God, we too sometimes turn our religion into a negotiation with the divine — “I give to you, O God, so that you must give to me” — and we too sometimes seek to profit, like the moneychangers, from other people’s religious negotiations. Christ ends all that. Though it looks like foolishness, his cross is the wisdom and power of God and the end of negotiations. Risen, he is our temple, the very place we meet God in the power of the Spirit. What happens in that place, that temple that is Christ, is that God gives to us so that we may turn and give to others. When we were baptized into that house of God, the ten commandments were given to us as part of being baptized. They are a lively agenda for us, especially if, with Martin Luther, we continually reinterpret them for the present time. This agenda is founded in God’s thousand-fold mercy, in which such mercy becomes our own way. Rather than coveting someone else’s things, we engage in almsgiving. Rather than lying about someone else, we pray for them. Rather than misusing someone else, we fast from self-indulgence. And in it all Jesus Christ is our sabbath rest. The way of these commandments is the way of Lent and a way of joy. Such religion is light to our eyes.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 324), Canticle of the Turning” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 723), God Alone Be Praised” (All Creation Sings 1023). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

In the Cross of Christ I Glory

God Alone Be Praised

 

Then pray these intercessions:

On this third Sunday in Lent, let our prayer reflect the guidance of the Ten Commandments. We respond to each petition with the words “grant us your wisdom, O God.”

A brief silence.

O God, our lawgiver, our temple, our wisdom, form your church to worship you alone. As you blessed Gregory the Great, so bless our bishops for their ministry in church and world.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God. 

Protect all who call upon the power of your name. As you blessed the martyr Perpetua and her companions, so bless all the baptized who suffer for their faith.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God. 

Even during this pandemic, connect us in diverse ways to our worshiping communities, and give to all persons regular rest from their work.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Bless with wisdom all parents and any who are granted authority over others, and give to children the will to honor those who care for them.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God. 

Keep the nations of the earth from engaging in war, bloodshed, and torture, and help people of all ages to resist the lure of violence.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Uphold marriages and all commitments of care, and defend all persons, especially children, from sexual abuse.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Guard your earth, its animals and its plant life from all who would take for themselves more than they need.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Train the diverse peoples of our nation to respect one another. As you blessed Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, so bless all who work to end discrimination and the oppression of the vulnerable.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Use our bounty to meet the needs of others, those who are homeless or hungry, and hear our prayers for all who are sick or suffering, especially all afflicted with the coronavirus and all we name here before you. . .

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Teach us how to pray, also for ourselves:

A longer period of silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

Receive our thanks for all who have died in the faith, and bring us all at the end into the fullness of your life.

A brief silence.

You are our strength and our redeemer:
grant us your wisdom, O God.

We entrust ourselves and all our prayers to you, O faithful and gracious God, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 803), Be Thou My Vision” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 793). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Be Thou My Vision

 

Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Gracious God, who has named and claimed us,
calling us your beloved children,
you know the secrets of our hearts.
When we sin and stray from your paths,
you astound us with your saving grace.
For this Word of life,
we give you thanks.

Loving Jesus, living Word,
in you the Kingdom of God has come near;
through you all that was lost has been found.
Help us to boldly follow wherever you may lead,
trusting your promise that we need not fear,
for you are with us.
For this Word of life,
we give you thanks.

Holy Spirit, the mystery in which we dwell,
into our scarcity, your abundance flows.
Enliven all communities with your good news.
Guide us to love and serve Jesus,
giving ourselves away for the sake of the world.
For this Word of life,
we give you thanks.

All glory to you, holy God, now and forever.
Amen.

 

Merciful God, accompany our journey through these forty days. Renew us in the gift of baptism, that we may provide for those who are poor, pray for those in need, fast from self-indulgence, and above all that we may find our treasure in the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, 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.
Amen.

 

Then speak the Blessing:

Almighty God, Father, + Son and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.
Amen.

 

Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Christ, the Solid Rock;” “Just As I Am, without One Plea;” “What Wondrous Love Is This.”

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 84. Tuesday Hebrews 9:23-28. Wednesday (commemoration of Harriet Tubman, 1913; Sojourner Truth, 1883; renewers of society) Mark 11:15-19. Thursday Psalm 107:17-22. Friday (commemoration of Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604) Ephesians 1:7-14. Saturday Numbers 20:22-29. Fourth Sunday in Lent Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21.

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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