Worship in the Home: August 15, 2021

Posted on August 10, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 20, Year B
August 15, 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.
Ever-loving God, your Son gives himself as living bread for the life of the world. Fill us with such a knowledge of his presence that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life to serve you continually, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



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

First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6

1Wisdom has built her house,
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table.
3She has sent out her servant women, she calls
from the highest places in the town,
4“You that are simple, turn in here!”
To those without sense she says,
5“Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6Lay aside immaturity,
and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

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


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

Psalm 34:9-14

9Fear the LORD, you saints | of the LORD,
for those who fear the | LORD lack nothing.
10The lions are in want and | suffer hunger,
but those who seek the LORD lack nothing | that is good.
11Come, children, and lis- | ten to me;
I will teach you reverence | for the LORD.
12Who among you takes plea- | sure in life
and desires long life to en- | joy prosperity?
13Keep your | tongue from evil
and your lips from | lying words.
14Turn from evil | and do good;
seek peace | and pursue it.


Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

15Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20giving thanks to God, the Father, at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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


Gospel: John 6:51-58

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

[Jesus said,] 51“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52The Judeans then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son-of-Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

Because the days are evil, the Letter to the Ephesians urges us to be wise, not foolish, not drunk in our fear of death. In Proverbs, Wisdom herself—the very word by which God made the universe with its seven pillars, its seven visible planets—calls us to lay aside our immaturity and live with the insight that accords with the deep structure of all things. But where is that wisdom?  Can it really be eaten and drunk as at a banquet?  For John’s Gospel, the Word though which all things came into being has become flesh in Jesus Christ. He has died with us. He lives with us. And he gives his very existence to us—his flesh and blood—in his word and in his meal in the church. Wisdom’s banquet is there, in word and sacrament. Then living in maturity and wisdom, in accord with the universe—truly living—looks like this: singing together in the Spirit; giving thanks to the Father always for all things through Jesus Christ; and, in the Spirit of that thanksgiving, turning with compassion and forgiveness toward our neighbor and in diligent care toward the earth itself.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “O Living Bread from Heaven” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 542), We Eat the Bread of Teaching” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 618). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

O Living Bread from Heaven


Then pray these intercessions:

On this day of the commemoration of Mary the mother of our Lord, we offer our prayers to God, responding to each petition with words from the song of Mary, “We magnify your name.”

A brief silence.

God our Savior, we pray for the church around the world. Inspire all the baptized to proclaim your greatness in word and deed. Bless church musicians for their weekly ministry. Make your churches places of welcome for all who suffer rejection.

A brief silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

We pray for the earth. Lessen the devastation of climate change. Extinguish wildfires throughout the world. Protect the bees and all endangered animals. By the strength of your arm, save your creation.

A brief silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

We pray for the nations of the world. Inspire elected officials to look with mercy on those in need. Strengthen democracies, and cast down from their thrones all those who are unworthy of the people’s trust.

A brief silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

On this day that commemorates the end of World War II, we pray for world peace. Bless the people of Germany and Japan. Defend the children of Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and other places filled with violence. Give to every nation the resolve to be done with the horrors of warfare.

A brief silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

We pray for those who are poor or oppressed. Help us feed the hungry and raise up the lowly. We pray for pregnant women, both those who are glad and those who are distressed by their condition. Accompany them throughout their labor. Comfort all parents who mourn the death of their children. We ask you to come to the aid of the sick and suffering and those we name here:

A brief silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

We pray for ourselves. Grant each of us wisdom, lead us in the way of insight, and graciously receive our personal petitions.

A longer period of silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

We praise you, Mighty One, for the mercy shown to our ancestors, to Mary the mother of our Lord, and to all you have brought to yourself. Gather us with all the blessed to live in your presence forever.

A brief silence.

Remember your mercy, O God:
we magnify your name.

We glorify your name, O God, Holy One, Word of salvation, Power of the Most High. Receive our prayers for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 759), Feed Us with Hunger for Justice” (All Creation Sings 968). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Feed Us with Hunger for Justice


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:

Almighty God bless us,
defend us from all evil,
and bring us to everlasting life.


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress:I Will Bless the Lord;” “Now the Silence;” “May God Bestow on Us Grace.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 36. Tuesday Acts 7:9-16. Wednesday Genesis 47:13-26. Thursday Psalm 34:15-22. Friday (commemoration of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153) Romans 13:11-14. Saturday Luke 11:5-13. Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost Joshua 24:1-2a. 14-18; Psalm 34:15-22; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69.


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.

Follow this blog

Get a daily email of all new posts.