Worship in the Home: July 4, 2021

Posted on June 29, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 14, Year B
July 4, 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.

Since the spring of 2020, Worship in the Home has been a resource for any who could not join in-person or virtual worship during this pandemic time. The final installment of Worship in the Home will be released on Aug. 31 (for Sunday, Sept. 5). Weekly prayers of intercession continue to be provided with a subscription to sundaysandseasons.com. As always, you are encouraged to adapt for local use. Occasional topical worship resources can be found at ELCA.org/worship.

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.

God of the covenant, in our baptism you call us to proclaim the coming of your kingdom. Give us the courage you gave the apostles, that we may faithfully witness to your love and peace in every circumstance of life, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading: Ezekiel 2:1-5

1A voice said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. 2And when the LORD spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard the LORD speaking to me, 3saying, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. 4The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD.” 5Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

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


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

Psalm 123

1To you I lift | up my eyes,
to you enthroned | in the heavens.
2As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
and the eyes of a maid to the hand | of her mistress,
so our eyes look to you, O LORD our God, until you show | us your mercy.
3Have mercy upon us, O | LORD, have mercy,
for we have had more than enough | of contempt,
4too much of the scorn of the in- | dolent rich,
and of the derision | of the proud.


Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10

2I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows—4was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

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


Gospel: Mark 6:1-13

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

1Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5And Jesus could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then Jesus went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10Jesus said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

We are the rebellious house, the ones who refuse to hear. But among us is the prophet who heals us and our sick ones nonetheless. As Mark tells the story, Jesus is reduced to utter weakness, able to do no miraculous deed of power at all when he is in his hometown, among those who presume that they know him. Except, out of that weakness he does still heal the sick, even amid all the unbelief. Then his weakness becomes the source of the sending of the Twelve and they, though they have nothing, preach and heal with power. These Markan stories are images of the cross and resurrection of Jesus: hidden in the weakness of Jesus, known and rejected in his death, is the very power of Christ, dwelling now among us in word and sacrament. Following Christ, Paul says that whenever he was weak then he was strong. Listening to this word of God, the Spirit also enters into us and we stand up. Out of our own weakness, having nothing except the gospel, we may turn to our neighbors in witness and in service.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “We All Are One in Mission” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 576), How Firm a Foundation” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 796). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

How Firm a Foundation


Then pray these intercessions:

Let us come before the triune God in prayer, responding to each petition with words from today’s psalm. “Show us your mercy.”

A brief silence.

God of salvation, we pray for churches around the world: sustain those churches that experience persecution or harassment; and give wisdom to churches in free societies, that we might live according to your word.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O holy God:
Show us your mercy.

God of creation, we pray for your earth: protect the natural beauty in our national and local parks and forests; and guide the decisions of all who care for and work on the land.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O omnipotent God:
Show us your mercy.

God of righteousness, we pray for the nations: bestow your peace throughout the world; raise up prophets to speak truth to power; uphold those who work for human rights; and protect the poor and the refugee. On this Fourth of July, we ask that you bless the United States: free us from prejudices, and grant to our elected leaders a passion for justice and a will to serve all the people. Protect from danger those who celebrate this day.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O sovereign God:
Show us your mercy.

God of compassion, we pray for the sick and suffering: for the victims of disasters; for all indigenous peoples around the globe; for those deprived of their freedom; for those facing the Delta COVID contagion; and for those we name here before you. . .

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O ever-present God:
Show us your mercy.

God of faithfulness, we pray for ourselves: be with each of us on our many journeys, and graciously receive our personal petitions.

A longer period of silence.

Hear our prayer, O saving God:
Show us your mercy.

God of eternal love, we thank you for all your saints, those who have served their nation, and those who ministered beyond national boundaries. At the end of all things, bring us all into the kingdom of your presence.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O glorious God:
Show us your mercy.

Into your hands, O God, we commend ourselves, our nation, and all for whom we pray, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “To Be Your Presence” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 546), Guide My Feet” (All Creation Sings 987). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Guide My Feet


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Holy God, our Maker, our Healer, our Teacher,
your magnificent creation springs forth from your Word.
All that has life and breath praises your name.
For your Word that sustains the earth, we thank you, O God.
We thank you, O God.

You sent us Jesus, your Word, to renew the world.
He healed the sick, fed the hungry,
preached your mercy, and called us to faith.
For your Word in our Lord Christ, we praise you, O God.
We praise you, O God.

Nourish us with the Spirit of your Word,
that we may grow in grace, bearing the fruits of redemption,
and sharing your strength and beauty with all the world.
For your Word in our lives, we entreat you, O God.
We entreat you, O God.

Accept our thanksgiving and receive our prayer,
for the sake of your living Word, Jesus our Savior.


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:

The blessing of God,
who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us,
+ be upon you 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: “We Worship You, God;” “Our Mission Is to Follow Jesus;” “This Is My Song.”

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 119:81-88. Tuesday (commemoration of Jan Hus, martyr, 1415) James 5:7-12. Wednesday John 7:1-9. Thursday Psalm 85:8-13. Friday Colossians 4:2-18. Saturday Luke 1:57-80. Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (commemoration of Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c. 540) Amos 7:7-15; Psalm 85:8-13; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29.

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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