Worship in the Home: May 9, 2021

Posted on May 4, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B
May 9, 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.

O God, you have prepared for those who love you joys beyond understanding. Pour into our hearts such love for you that, loving you above all things, we may obtain your promises, which exceed all we can desire; through Jesus Christ, your Son and our 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 10:44-48

44While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. 45The believers from among the Jewish people who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47“Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48So Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

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


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

Psalm 98

1Sing a new song to the LORD, who has done | marvelous things,
whose right hand and holy arm have | won the victory.
2O LORD, you have made | known your victory,
you have revealed your righteousness in the sight | of the nations.
3You remember your steadfast love and faithfulness to the | house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen the victory | of our God.
4Shout with joy to the LORD, | all you lands;
lift up your voice, re- | joice, and sing. R
5Sing to the LORD | with the harp,
with the harp and the | voice of song.
6With trumpets and the sound | of the horn
shout with joy before the | king, the LORD.
7Let the sea roar, and | all that fills it,
the world and those who | dwell therein.
8Let the rivers | clap their hands,
and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD, who comes to | judge the earth.
9The LORD will judge the | world with righteousness
and the peo- | ples with equity


Second Reading: 1 John 5:1-6

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey God’s commandments. 3For the love of God is this, that we obey the commandments, which are not burdensome, 4for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

6This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.

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


Gospel: John 15:9-17

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

[Jesus said:] 9“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in my Father’s love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

As in the synoptic Gospels, both the Gospel according to John and the First Letter of John articulate two commandments: we should love God and we should love each other. But even if these commandments are “not burdensome,” we often do not keep them. Are we then really children and friends of God? In answer to our failure and sin, God gives the witness that overcomes the world: the Spirit, the water, and the blood. The Spirit enables us to trust that Jesus comes among us by the water of his baptism and by the blood of his cross. More: these things come to us, when we are in assembly and even when we are alone. As Jesus dies he gives over the Spirit to be among us and teach us. The water has not been withheld from us and, like Cornelius and his family, we have been baptized into him. We have received and we will receive again his blood in the holy communion. Spirit, water and blood testify to us that we are indeed children of God, forgiven and formed anew as friends to turn to our neighbor in love.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 358), Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 631), God Is Love” (All Creation Sings 1041). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

God Is Love

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling


Then pray these intercessions:

Remembering the life of Nicolaus Zinzendorf, we pray on this sixth Sunday of Easter for the Moravian Church, for the baptized around the world, and for all people according to their needs, responding to each petition with the words “fill us with your love.”

A brief silence.

O triune God, we praise you for your wondrous love, for the witness of Moravian Christians, and for the steadfastness of believers throughout this pandemic. Whenever churches face hardship or challenge, strengthen us in affection within and between denominations.

A brief silence.

Hear us, loving God:
fill us with your love.

We praise you for the beauty of spring, and we stand in awe of even the hungry cicadas. Wherever creation is beckoning us to lives of ecological restraint, teach us your care of our earth.

A brief silence.

Hear us, creating God.
fill us with your love.

We praise you for all efforts to achieve peace throughout the world. Wherever violence prevails, wherever brutality silences protest, wherever prejudice reigns, wherever the rich oppress the poor, lead us and all nations into the ways of justice.

A brief silence.

Hear us, righteous God:
fill us with your love.

We praise you for the gradual lessening of the pandemic and for your gift of vaccines. Wherever the virus still rages (especially India, Turkey, and South America), wherever medical resources are depleted, wherever medical advice is rejected, extend the power of your healing hand. Be present with all who today will die, and visit all who are sick or suffering, especially . . . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, healing God:
fill us with your love.

We praise you for the loving support of mothers to their children. Bless mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, godmothers, and all of each gender who give mothering care. Protect mothers in societies where women have few rights. Comfort those who grieve because they cannot mother a child. Wherever children are deprived of mothering, provide responsible and affectionate care.

A brief silence.

Hear us, mothering God:
fill us with your love.

We praise you for calling yourself our friend. Receive now the petitions of our own hearts.

A longer period of silence.

Hear us, dearest God:
fill us with your love.

We praise you for the witness of all who have died in the faith, especially for Nicolaus Zinzendorf, the apostle Matthias, and those we name in our hearts. Keep us united with all your children until we join them in your presence forever.

A brief silence.

Hear us, everlasting God:
fill us with your love.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Beautiful Savior” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 838), Jesus Loves Me” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 595), “Jesus, Still Lead On” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 624). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Beautiful Savior

Jesus Loves Me!

Jesus, Still Lead On


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Holy, living, and loving God, we praise you for creating an earth of splendor
and for making us into a people of your own.
With all the saints who have received your Word
we worship you, holy God.
We worship you, holy God.

We praise you for your eternal Word,
for conquering the force of death,
and for raising us up through the resurrection of our Lord.
For your Word alive among us,
we praise you, living God.
We praise you, living God.

Breathe the Spirit of the risen Christ on us,
that led by your Word
we may honor your earth and its many peoples
and serve all who are in need.
For your Word animating our Easter life,
we bless you, loving God.
We bless you, loving God.

All worship, praise, and blessing be to you,
Source of life, Ruler of life, and Power of life, today and forever.


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: “Oh, Love How Deep;” “Sing Unto God a Song of Joy;” “Unless You Lead Me, Love.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 93. Tuesday 1 Timothy 6:13-16. Wednesday Deuteronomy 11:18-21. Thursday (Ascension of Our Lord) Luke 24:44-53. Friday (Matthias, Apostle) Luke 6:12-16. Saturday John 16:4-11. Seventh Sunday of Easter Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19.

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 Ramshaw.

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