Worship in the Home: July 18

Posted on July 13, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 16, Year B
July 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.

Since spring 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 it 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, powerful and compassionate, you shepherd your people, faithfully feeding and protecting us. Heal each of us, and make us a whole people, that we may embody the justice and peace of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


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

First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6

1Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.

5The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, who shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

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


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

Psalm 23

1The LORD | is my shepherd;
I shall not | be in want.
2The LORD makes me lie down | in green pastures
and leads me be- | side still waters.
3You restore my | soul, O LORD,
and guide me along right pathways | for your name’s sake.
4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall | fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence | of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the | LORD forever.


Second Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22

11Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, whose men were called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For Christ is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17So Christ came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

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


Gospel: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

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

30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

53When Jesus and the disciples had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

We are all like sheep without a shepherd. Indeed, our whole world society has leaders and rulers—for whom Jeremiah uses the classic Old Testament metaphor of “shepherds”—that scatter, divide, and alienate us from each other, creating hostility. We are easily tempted to live without hope and as if there were no God in the world. But God promises to gather and lead the flock until it comes to fruitfulness and fearlessness. Fulfilling that promise, Jesus comes into our midst with compassion. He teaches; he prepares a table before us; he heals the many sick; and he raises up other shepherds among us to give us these very things from him and from his death and resurrection. With these actions God shepherds the scattered flock. If we are alone, simply hearing the word of Christ leads and restores us. In assembly, by the power of the Spirit, the word, the bread, and the peace of Jesus Christ again and again gather us into unity. We are made the house of the Lord, the dwelling-place of God. And we are sent to help lead others out of division, mutual hostility, and fear.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 611), My Shepherd, You Supply My Need” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 782). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

My Shepherd, You Supply My Need


Then pray these intercessions:

Let us offer our prayers to God, responding to each petition with an echo from Ephesians, “Grant us your peace.”

A brief silence.

O God our shepherd, the church calls out for your care. Form bishops and pastors into courageous shepherds who guide the flocks of the baptized. Where the pandemic recedes, renew the worship and revive the ministries of your churches. Where throughout the world the pandemic rages, uphold your people with the strength of your word.  

A brief silence.

Show mercy to the church, O God:
Grant us your peace.

The lands and waters call out for renewal. Provide green pastures and still waters for livestock, and protect gardens, farms, and ranches from disaster. Where flood or drought threatens, save your creation with your loving might.  

A brief silence.

Show mercy to the earth, O God:
Grant us your peace.

All the needy cry to you. Restore all who are oppressed or imprisoned. Visit Haiti and all nations in distress. Guide the leaders of nations to walk in the pathways of justice. Break down the walls that divide people of different nation, color, language, or ethnicity.

A brief silence.

Show mercy to the nations, O God:
Grant us your peace.

Embrace all who are lonely or abandoned. Protect teenage runaways, and house any who are homeless. Grant acceptance to quarreling family members. Bless all governmental and church agencies of care with sufficient resources for their tasks.   

A brief silence.

Show mercy to all in want, O God:
Grant us your peace.

We pray for the safety of the athletes at the Olympics. Cultivate among them a spirit of friendly camaraderie, and protect the residences of Tokyo from COVID contagion.

A brief silence.

Show mercy to this worldwide pursuit, provident God:
Grant us your peace.  

Those who are sick stand in need of your care. Visit all who have COVID-19, and accompany those who are standing in the shadow of death. Be a strong rod to those who are weak, and with your staff keep evil distant from all your children. Hear our pleas for those we name here before you. . .

A brief silence.

Show mercy to all who suffer, O God:
Grant us your peace.

Each of us praises you, O loving God, for untold goodness and endless mercy. We reach out to Christ, to touch the fringe of his cloak. Hear now our personal prayers:

A longer time of silence.

Show mercy to each of us, O God:
Grant us your peace.

We thank you for all the faithful of every time and place, especially those we name here before you. . . . We pray that at the end, we all will dwell in your house forever.

A brief silence.

Show mercy to us all, O God:
Grant us your peace.

Into your hands, mighty and merciful God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your gift of life, through Jesus Christ, who is our peace.



If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Savior, like A Shepherd Lead Us” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 789),O Christ, Your Heart, Compassionate” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 722). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Savior, like A Shepherd Lead Us


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: As Pants the Hart;” “Thy Holy Wings (St Olaf Choirbook for Women);” “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less.

Readings for the Week:
Monday  Psalm 100. Tuesday Zechariah 9:14—10:2. Wednesday Luke 15:1-7. Thursday (Mary Magdalene, Apostle) John 20:1-2, 11-18. Friday (commemoration of Birgitta of Sweden, renewer of the church) Colossians 3:12-17. Saturday 2 Kings 4:38-41 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost (James, Apostle) 2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21.

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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