Worship in the Home: June 13, 2021

Posted on June 7, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

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.

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

O God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world. Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading: Ezekiel 17:22-24

22Thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
23On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
24All the trees of the field shall know
that I am the LORD.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the LORD have spoken;
I will accomplish it.

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


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

Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15

1It is a good thing to give thanks | to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name,  | O Most High;
2to herald your love | in the morning
and your faithful- | ness at night;
3on the psaltery, and | on the lyre,
and to the melody | of the harp.
4For you have made me glad by your | acts, O LORD;
and I shout for joy because of the works | of your hands.
12The righteous shall flourish | like a palm tree,
and shall spread abroad like a ce- | dar of Lebanon.
13Those who are planted in the house | of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts | of our God;
14they shall still bear fruit | in old age;
they shall be | green and succulent;
15that they may show how up- | right the LORD is,
my rock, in whom there is | no injustice.


Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 [11-13] 14-17

6So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord—7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please the Lord. 10For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

[11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. ] 14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

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


Gospel: Mark 4:26-34

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

26Jesus said, “The dominion of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, the sower does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once the sower goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30Jesus also said, “With what can we compare the dominion of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

According to Mark, the explanation of the parables was given secretly to the disciples. But now this meaning is proclaimed openly in the church: God makes what is low and dry to be high and green. The central occasion of this action of God is found in the cross. Walking by sight and not by faith, we all too often live only for ourselves, and we give special attention to people who appear high and powerful, as if they were the source of more life for us. But just as an annual bush — a scraggly bush that dies — is presented by Jesus as the very tree of life, just as the dry seed becomes a mighty harvest, just as God makes a sprig to be a mighty cedar, so against all appearances the cross of Christ’s death holds us into a new creation. In the word proclaimed in our homes today and in the assembly when we gather there, the Holy Spirit brings us to nest by faith in the tree of life which is Jesus Christ crucified and risen. We eat and drink the fruit of that tree. Then we are invited to live not for ourselves but for him and for all the needy world which he loves.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 516), For the Fruit of All Creation” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 679). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast


Then pray these intercessions:

Let us unite before God in prayer, responding to each petition with the words “Grant us your life.”

A brief silence.

Holy God, Fount of blessings, we pray for the church: that the seeds of faith which you plant take root and grow; that those churches that are emerging from the pandemic re-gather their members in safety; and that you bless the church in Ethiopia and other places that are experiencing great distress.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for the earth: that the trees and plantings in national forests be protected; that farms around the globe be safeguarded from drought, flood, and pestilence; and that wild animals thrive in the habitat they require.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for the nations: that world leaders care for those in greatest need; that all prejudices cease; that the might of tyrants be halted; that journalists be kept safe from harassment; that the displaced find a welcome homeland; and that peace reign between nations.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for the aged: that they be embraced by their relatives and friends; and that their many needs be met. And we pray for the children: that they be protected from harm and danger; and that summertime give them opportunity to enjoy nature’s bounty.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for health and wholeness: for countries where COVID-19 is accelerating and vaccines are not available; for relief agencies, that the hungry be fed; for those who are beaten down by poverty and homelessness; for those who are suffering from climate disasters; for any who are sick, especially those with no access to medical care; and for those we name here before you:

A brief silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray finally for ourselves: that you give us the grace to welcome anything new that comes from you; and that in mercy you receive our private petitions.

A longer period of silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

For all who have died in the faith, and for those whom we remember here before you, we offer our thanks, gracious Redeemer. For all who will die today, we ask your mercy. And at the end that we join with all your people in the perfection of your presence, we pray.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

To you we pray, O God, our Source, Sovereign, and Strength, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 551), We Plow the Fields and Scatter” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 681). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

We Plow the Fields and Scatter


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

O Holy One of wisdom, throughout human history and today among us here, you call us to walk the paths of justice and peace. We praise you, O God of truth, for your precious words. Grant that sheltered under their richness as under the tree of life, we live in gratitude and faithfulness, through Jesus Christ, your Word and our Wisdom, now 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:

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


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Psalm 150;” “For the Beauty of the Earth;” “In Thee Is Gladness.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday (commemoration Basil, the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, 379; Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, c. 385; Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, c. 389; Macrina, teacher, c. 379) Psalm 52. Tuesday Revelation 21:22—22:5. Wednesday Luke 6:43-45. Thursday (commemoration of the Emanuel Nine, martyrs, 2015) Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32.
Friday Acts 21:1-16. Saturday Luke 21:25-28. Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Job 38:1-11; Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41.

Visit ELCA.org/Lectionary for a full listing of readings assigned to each day.

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 are 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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