Worship in the Home: April 18, 2021

Posted on April 14, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B
April 18, 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.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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 and righteous God, you are the author of life, and you adopt us to be your children. Fill us with your words of life, that we may live as witnesses to the resurrection of 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: Acts 3:12-19

12Peter addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified Jesus, the servant of God, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though Pilate had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in the name of Jesus, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what had been foretold through all the prophets, that the Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”

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


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

Psalm 4

1Answer me when I call, O God, defender | of my cause;
you set me free when I was in distress; have mercy on me and | hear my prayer.
2“You mortals, how long will you dishon- | or my glory;
how long will you love illusions and seek | after lies?”
3Know that the Lord does wonders | for the faithful;
the Lord will hear me | when I call.
4Tremble, then, and | do not sin;
speak to your heart in silence up- | on your bed.
5Offer the appointed | sacrifices,
and put your trust | in the Lord.
6Many are saying, “Who will show us | any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon | us, O Lord.
7You have put gladness | in my heart,
more than when grain and | wine abound.
8In peace, I will lie | down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me | rest secure.


Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-7

1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know God. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when it is revealed, we will be like God, for we will see God as God is. 3And all who have this hope in God purify themselves, just as the Son is pure.

4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that Christ was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in the Son sins; no one who sins has either seen or known the Son. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as Christ is righteous.

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


Gospel: Luke 24:36b-48

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

36bJesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

44Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

The author of Acts, in seeking to appeal to the Gentiles and exonerate Pilate, has Peter blaming “the Israelites” for the death of Jesus. Peter here does not even remember his own guilt. The Christian tradition has rather seen the death of Jesus, however it came about, as bringing the possibility of repentance and forgiveness to us all. The scriptures are closed to us when we use them to judge others for their sins, forgetting our own. But the risen Christ in the power of the Spirit opens our minds to understand the scriptures. In them, when they are truly opened, we see his wounds and encounter his resurrection. In them we see the risen Jesus eat a fish, that representation of the chaos of the sea — of death — made into life-giving food. Every Sunday, the scriptures are opened for us. And every Sunday, when we are able to gather, Christ gives us life in his meal. When we cannot gather, we eat his body and blood in the scriptures themselves, by faith. In word and sacrament we meet the author of life and are given forgiveness, made children of God, and sent with words of witness and forgiveness to others.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna!” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 383),Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 367). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds


Then pray these intercessions:

On this third Sunday of Easter, we pray for all in any need, responding to each petition with words echoing today’s psalm, “Hear us when we call.”

A brief silence.

Holy and righteous God, for the church, we pray:
for our own congregation,
for the churches of all our neighbors and around the globe,
and especially for Christians in Nigeria and wherever martyrdoms threaten.

A brief silence.

O God our Savior, bless your people, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

For the earth we pray:
for the well-being of terrains, plants, and animals wild and tame,
for the birds, especially songbirds whose numbers are decreasing,
and for this week’s Earth Day, that good will come from the worldwide

A brief silence.

O God our Creator, restore your handiwork, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

For peace we pray:
for the end of warfare, terrorism, and cruelty to the poor,
for a respectful treatment of refugees and all who are incarcerated,
and especially for Northern Ireland and other places of civil unrest.

 A brief silence.

O God our Sovereign, bring peace to the nations, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

For justice we pray:
for the liberation of all who are oppressed,
for an end to ethnic and economic prejudice,
and especially for all court cases in this and every land.

A brief silence.

O God our Refuge, protect the vulnerable, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

For all who are sick and suffering,
for those who have no access to the coronavirus vaccines,
for the children afflicted with the virus variants,
for everyone who fears receiving medical advice and assistance,
for those who live with chronic pain,
for those whose pain is known only to you,
and especially for those we name here before you. . . .

A brief silence.

O God our Caregiver, heal the sick, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

For ourselves, when we believe and when we doubt,
and for our dear ones for whom we pray:

A longer period of silence.

O God our Comforter, hold us close, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

We remember before you all the witnesses of the resurrection,
the saints of old,
those who have died by violence or by the coronavirus,
and especially our relatives and friends.

A brief silence.

O God our Resurrection, give us life now and forever, and have mercy on us.
Hear us when we call.

Receive these prayers into your heart of mercy for the sake of the holy and righteous one, Jesus Christ, our wondrous Redeemer.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “The Day of Resurrection” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 361), Day of Arising” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 374), “Ayúdanos, oh Dios / Oh, Help Us, Save Us(All Creation Sings 1055). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

The Day of Resurrection!

Ayudanos, oh Dios / Oh, Help Us, Save Us


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Praise to you, O God, for your Word of life:
creating a wondrous universe,
proclaiming freedom from captivity,
becoming the song of your people.
We praise you, O God, for your Word.
We praise you, O God, for your Word.

Your Word is made flesh among us:
with Mary in the garden, you call us by name.
With Thomas beholding your wounds, you call us to believe.
With sheep of other folds, we are gathered by your voice.
Your Word names our death and our life:
a seed that falls into the earth and dies,
rain and snow that come down from heaven to water the earth,
a vine in which we abide.
Through your Word, you appoint us to bear fruit, fruit that will last.
We bless you, O God, for your Word.
We bless you, O God, for your Word.

By your living Word, we are witnesses of these things.
Breathe into us your Holy Spirit.
Open our minds to understand the scriptures.
Give us wisdom to declare what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked at and touched with our hands
concerning the word of life.
Fill us with strength to love, not in word or speech alone,
but in truth and action.

With every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them,
we join in the hymn of all creation, as
we thank you, O God, for your life-giving Word.
We thank you, O God, for your life-giving Word.


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 our glorious God grant us a spirit of wisdom
to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life,
Father, + Son and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Come Away to the Skies;” “Love Is Come Again;” “Jesus, Feed Us.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday (commemoration of Olavus Petri, priest, 1552; Laurentius Petri, Bishop of Uppsala, 1573; renewers of the church) Psalm 150. Tuesday 2 John 1-6. Wednesday (commemoration of Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury, 1109) Proverbs 9:1-6. Thursday Psalm 23. Friday (commemoration of Toyohiko Kagawa, renewer of society, 1960) Acts 4:1-4. Saturday Mark 10:11-18. Fourth Sunday of Easter (Mark, Evangelist) Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18.

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. 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 Rams

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