Worship in the Home: August 1, 2021

Posted on July 27, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 18, Year B
August 1, 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, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and are satisfied. Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



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

First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15

2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots filled with meat and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

4Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.”

9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the LORD, for the LORD has heard your complaining.’ ” 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11The LORD spoke to Moses and said, 12“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”

13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

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


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

Psalm 78:23-29

23So God commanded the | clouds above
and opened the | doors of heaven,
24raining down manna upon | them to eat
and giving them | grain from heaven.
25So mortals ate the | bread of angels;
God provided for them | food enough.
26The LORD caused the east wind to blow | in the heavens
and powerfully led out | the south wind,
27raining down flesh upon | them like dust
and flying birds like the sand | of the seas,
28letting them fall in the midst | of the camp
and round a- | bout the dwellings.
29So the people ate and | were well filled,
for God gave them | what they craved.


Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16

1I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

7But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it is said,
 “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
  he gave gifts to his people.”
9(When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11The gifts Christ gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

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


Gospel: John 6:24-35

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

24When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were beside the sea, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ 26Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son-of-Man will give you. For it is the Son-of-Man that God, the Father, has sealed.” 28Then they said to Jesus, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one whom God has sent.” 30So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

These texts invite us to Christian maturity by mercifully correcting our complaining, our blaming others, and our listening to conspiracy theories. “What is it?” — mah-na? in Hebrew — the Israelites said of the desert bread on the ground. “How can there be food here?”  It was bread from God, bread in a place where there could not be bread since there were no grain-fields and no bakeries in the wilderness. In the story, God gave unexpected life to the people who had been liberated. God still gives life where we thought life could not be. The cross of Christ is for us, against all expectation, the source of life. Jesus Christ crucified and risen is the life-giving Bread, and that bread of life is available to us all in the holy scriptures and in the holy supper in the church. God the Father sets the table; Christ is the food; the Holy Spirit is the server. Made one in that Spirit, we are gifted by Christ with skills to serve others with the bread of God, with life where people thought there could be none.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 618), Son of God, Eternal Savior” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 655). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer

Son of God, Eternal Savior


Then pray these intercessions:

Let us offer our prayers for all in need, responding to each petition with the words “Feed the world with your love.”

A brief silence.

O God, we lament the ways that your church is divided by past and present controversies. A brief silence. And we pray: guide our denomination toward ecumenical cooperation with other Christians; uphold the many ministries in your church; and direct each one of us toward the ministry for which you have formed us.

A brief silence.

You are the Spirit of life, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

We lament the harm that humans have inflicted on your earth. A brief silence. And we pray: ensure the fertility of farms and fields; lessen the power of extreme weather; and strengthen worldwide efforts to live in such a way that climate change is slowed.

A brief silence.

You are the Pulse of our life, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

We lament the injustices that daily afflict people around the globe. A brief silence. And we pray: halt gun violence in our land; form our elected leaders to honor the rights of the powerless; and bring an end to prejudices against those who differ from us in color, ethnicity, or language.

A brief silence.

You are the Fullness of life, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

We lament that countless people suffer daily from hunger and thirst. A brief silence. And we pray: lead us to provide food and clean water to all peoples; strengthen ELCA World Hunger programs and sustain the efforts of local food banks. 

A brief silence.

You are the Bread of life, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

We lament that the coronavirus continues to kill thousands each week. A brief silence. And we pray: send healing to all the sick and suffering, especially to those who receive no medical care; look with compassion on health care workers; and visit all whose pain is known only to you. We remember before you. . . .  

A brief silence.

You are the Physician and the Nurse of life, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

We lament before you, O God, our secret sorrows, and we ask you to hear our personal prayers.

A longer time of silence.

You are the Storehouse of grace, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

We lament all who this past week have died through sickness, disaster, or violence. We praise you for all who have ministered in your church throughout the world. A brief silence. And we pray that at the end of all things, we will join with all the saints at your banquet of joy. 

A brief silence.

You are Life Eternal, O God:
Feed the world with your love.

Into your merciful hands, O triune God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in the life you offer us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 656), The Church’s One Foundation” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 654). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

The Church’s One Foundation


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing;” “Bread of the World;” “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 107:1-3, 33-43. Tuesday 1 Corinthians 12:27-31. Wednesday Mark 8:1-10. Thursday Psalm 34:1-8. Friday Galatians 6:1-10. Saturday Matthew 7:7-11. Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (commemoration of Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers [Dominicans]) 1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:25—5:2; John 6:35, 41-51.

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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