Worship in the Home: August 29, 2021

Posted on August 24, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary 22, Year B
August 29, 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.
Amen.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.
O God our strength, without you we are weak and wayward creatures. Protect us from all dangers that attack us from the outside, and cleanse us from all evil that arises from within ourselves, that we may be preserved through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

 

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

First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9

1So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the LORD your God with which I am charging you. 6You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” 7For what other great nation has a deity so near to it as the LORD our God is whenever we cry out? 8And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

9But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.

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

 

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

Psalm 15

1LORD, who may dwell in your | tabernacle?
Who may abide upon your | holy hill?
2Those who lead a blameless life and do | what is right,
who speak the truth | from their heart;
3they do not slander with the tongue, they do no evil | to their friends;
they do not cast discredit up- | on a neighbor.
4In their sight the wicked are rejected, but they honor those who | fear the LORD.
They have sworn upon their health and do not take | back their word.
5They do not give their money in hope of gain, nor do they take bribes a- | gainst the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be | overthrown.

 

Second Reading: James 1:17-27

17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfillment of the divine purpose God gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of God’s creatures.

19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

26If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

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

 

Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

1Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jewish people, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

14Then Jesus called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” 21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

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

 

Reflection

Having read these readings, think on this:

Of course, we will wash our hands, wash food that comes from the market, wash our cups and plates. But we fool ourselves if we think that such washing makes us pure before God. Jesus is right to teach that evil comes from within ourselves. And religions focused on purity practices frequently intend to exclude others and exalt ourselves, thinking the others to be polluted and ourselves to be clean. That is the real stain on the religious world. But the one who teaches about the origin of evil in Mark 7 is also the one who generously gives away bread to the hungry and gives himself away at the cross. Risen among us, he is the one who may dwell in the tabernacle of God. By the power of the Spirit, giving us new birth in the word, Jesus brings us also to dwell with him before God. Religion that flows from that implanted word will be about caring for those who most obviously cannot care for themselves and about avoiding the stain of religious practices that exclude. Such will be the law that we teach our children and our children’s children.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “O God, My Faithful God” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 806), Lord, Let My Heart Be Good Soil” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 512). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

O God, My Faithful God

 

Then pray these intercessions:

Whether we meet in assembly or worship from our homes, we join together in prayer for the world. Today, in response to each bid, you are invited to offer your own prayers, silently or aloud, and to conclude each petition with an echo of today’s psalm, “Abide with us.”

We pray for the church of Jesus Christ around the world.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

We pray for wisdom concerning church traditions.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

We pray for the pastor(s) and staff of our congregation.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

We pray for the well-being of the created earth.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.  

We pray for a halt to wildfires.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.  

We pray for peace throughout the world.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.

We pray for nations experiencing adversity of any kind.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.

We pray for our elected leaders.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.  

We pray for an end to prejudices.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

We pray for schools and Sunday schools, the students and teachers.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.  

We pray for those facing the coronavirus.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.

We pray for orphans, widows, and widowers.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us.

We pray for all who are sick or suffering.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

We pray for those we name here before you:
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

Finally, we pray for ourselves.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

We give thanks for all the faithful departed,
and we pray that at the end we join them in your presence forever.
A time for prayer.
Hear our prayers, O God; abide with us. 

O God, in your mercy receive these prayers,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, master Teacher, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 772), O God, Whose Word Well-Planted” (All Creation Sings 975), “Take, Oh, Take Me As I Am” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 814). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways

O God, Whose Word Well-Planted

 

Then conclude with these prayers:

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

We thank you, O God, for your life-giving Word,
for calling creation into being,
declaring forgiveness from the cross,
and delivering the spirit of rebirth.
We praise you, O God, for your Word:
we praise you, O God, for your Word.

Your word is a lamp lighting our path,
a mirror reflecting our selves,
a shield providing us refuge,
a fire burning for justice and truth.
Your word is sweeter than honey:
it nourishes our bodies like milk,
it sustains your people like bread.
We receive your promises, more treasured than gold.
We bless you, O God, for your Word:
we bless you, O God, for your Word.

Open our ears to your prophets, apostles, and saints,
and to all the cries of the needy.
Breathe into your church the mighty Spirit of Christ,
that heeding your voice of beauty and power
we are strengthened to serve wherever we are called.

To you, Father, Son, and Spirit—the Source, Word, and Breath—
we offer our thanks for your life-giving Word.
We offer our thanks for your life-giving Word.
Amen.
Amen.

 

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.
Amen.

 

Then speak the Blessing:

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

 

Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Bless God’s Holy Name: Psalm 103;” “We Shall Overcome;” “Nunc Dimittis.”

 

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 106:1-6, 13-23, 47-48. Tuesday Deuteronomy 4:15-20. Wednesday Mark 7:9-23. Thursday (commemoration of Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig, bishop, renewer of the church, 1872) Psalm 146. Friday Romans 2:12-16. Saturday Isaiah 33:1-9. Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost Isaiah 35:4-7a’ Psalm 146; James 2:1-10 [11-13] 14-17; Mark 7:24-37.

 

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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