Worship in the Home: July 11, 2021

Posted on July 6, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 15, Year B
July 11, 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 August 31 (for Sunday, September 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.

O God, from you come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading: Amos 7:7-15

7This is what the Lord GOD showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, holding a plumb line. 8And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line
in the midst of my people Israel;
I will never again pass them by;
9the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

10Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11For thus Amos has said,
‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from its land.’ ”
12And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; 13but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

14Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a shepherd, and a dresser of sycamore trees, 15and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ ”

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


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

Psalm 85:8-13

8I will listen to what the LORD| God is saying;
for you speak peace to your faithful people and to those who turn their | hearts to you.
9Truly, your salvation is very near to | those who fear you,
that your glory may dwell | in our land.
10Steadfast love and faithfulness have | met together;
righteousness and peace have | kissed each other.
11Faithfulness shall spring up | from the earth,
and righteousness shall look | down from heaven.
12The LORD will indeed | grant prosperity,
and our land will | yield its increase.
13Righteousness shall go be- | fore the LORD
and shall prepare for | God a pathway.


Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that before God we should be holy and blameless in love. 5God destined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ; this was God’s good pleasure and will, 6to the praise of God’s glorious grace freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of God’s grace 8lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9God has made known to us the mystery of the divine will, according to God’s good pleasure set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the divine counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of God’s glory. 13In Christ you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of God’s glory.

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


Gospel: Mark 6:14-29

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

14King Herod heard of the disciples’ preaching, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” 15But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

17For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19And Herodias had a grudge against John, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When Herod heard John, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” The mother replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” 5Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. The soldier went and beheaded John in the prison, 8brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29When John’s disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

The Gospel tells of an ugly birthday banquet that fully displays Herod’s tortured psychology: he is fascinated by John; he shows off before his guests; he lusts after his stepdaughter; yet throughout he is deeply afraid. The result is murder. And when he hears about Jesus, it his continuing guilt that responds. The story may be for us like Amos’s plumbline set against the crookedness of all unjust and despotic regimes. It may also measure out the ways we ourselves have acted from cowardice, self-importance, and guilt. But, in the Gospel, the story is also the negative image of another banquet, the one in Mark 14:3-9: there an unnamed woman does not demand Jesus’s head on a platter but faithfully anoints his head, thus preparing his “body beforehand for its burial.” That act leads us to another meal, the meal which proclaims Jesus’ cross and resurrection, the meal where he today gives himself to us. In that meal, as in the whole word of the gospel, the grace and love of God, freely bestowed on us “in the Beloved,” are on full display. Listening to God speaking peace in Jesus and marked by the seal of the Spirit in word and sacrament, we turn in that love and peace toward our needy and harassed world.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Let Justice Flow Like Streams” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 717), Faith of Our Fathers” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 812/813), “O Holy Spirit, Enter In” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 786). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Faith of Our Fathers

O Holy Spirit, Enter In


Then pray these intercessions:

Let us come before the triune God in prayer, responding to each petition with the words “Hear us and help us.”

A brief silence.

O God, bless the church throughout the world. Uphold bishops, pastors, deacons, chaplains, and leaders of monastic communities. Protect from danger and contagion everyone who attends church camps throughout the summer, and provide meaningful worship for the campers.

A brief silence.

That we might nurture one another in baptismal life, O God,
hear us and help us.  

Bless the earth. Moderate the intense heat, give shade and breezes to all, and send necessary rain to nourish the crops. Preserve farm laborers as they work each day under the sun.

A brief silence.

That your creation will survive and thrive, O God,
hear us and help us.  

Bless the leaders of nations. Crush the might of tyrants. Train those in power to care for all the oppressed in their land. Lead wealthier countries to share the COVID vaccine with poorer nations. Protect whistle-blowers and journalists, and form us into persons without prejudice against others.

A brief silence.

That the nations might know peace and justice, O God,
hear us and help us.  

Bless all who live without power or status. Free the poor, especially youths, from every form of enslavement. Grant security and self-determination to indigenous peoples around the globe.

A brief silence.

That all people might live in dignity, O God,
hear us and help us. 

Bless all who are sick or suffering. Comfort the survivors of disaster or gun violence. Protect us from the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Visit all who are imprisoned, and accompany all persons who are facing capital punishment. Receive our prayers for . . . .

A brief silence.

That all people might experience wellbeing, O God,
hear us and help us.  

Bless each of us, that throughout this week we may pray and work in your name. Receive now our silent prayers.

A longer period of silence.

That each of us might live as your adopted child, O God,
hear us and help us. 

We bless you for all who have died in the faith, especially for Benedict of Nursia, and for those we remember before you here. . . At the end, fulfill your promise to us of life together in your presence.

A brief silence.

That we might be gathered up with all the saints in Christ,
hear us and help us. 

Receive these prayers, merciful God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 807), Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 697). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Just a Closer Walk with Thee


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: “Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song;” “O Christ Surround Me;” “O Christ the Same.”

Readings for the Week:
Monday (commemoration of Nathan Söderblom, Bishop of Uppsala, 1931) Psalm 142. Tuesday Amos 9:1-4. Wednesday Luke 7:31-35. Thursday Psalm 23. Friday Jeremiah 10:17-25.  Saturday (commemoration of Batolomé de Las Casas, missionary to the Indies, 1566) Luke 18:35-43. Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 23; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.

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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