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Worship in the Home: May 2, 2021

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Worship in the Home Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B May 2, 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. […]

Worship in the Home

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B
May 2, 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.

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.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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, you give us your Son as the vine apart from whom we cannot live. Nourish our life in his resurrection, that we may bear the fruit of love and know the fullness of your joy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


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

First Reading: Acts 8:26-40

26An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) 27So Philip got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31The eunuch replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

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


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

Psalm 22:25-31

25From you comes my praise in the | great assembly;
I will perform my vows in the sight of those who | fear the LORD.
26The poor shall eat | and be satisfied,
Let those who seek the LORD give praise! May your hearts | live forever!
27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn | to the LORD;
all the families of nations shall bow | before God.
28For dominion belongs | to the LORD,
who rules o- | ver the nations,
29Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow | down in worship;
all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel be- | fore the LORD.
30Their descendants shall | serve the LORD,
whom they shall proclaim to genera- | tions to come.
31They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people | yet unborn,
saying to them, “The | LORD has acted!”

READ:  “I can fully participate”


Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-21

7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent into the world God’s only Son so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us and sent the Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and God’s love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in God and God in us, because we have been given of God’s own Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as the Son is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19We love because God first loved us. 20Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from God is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

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


Gospel: John 15:1-8

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

[Jesus said:] 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2My Father removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit my Father prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

Jesus Christ is the true Vine, but we are too often withered branches, afraid and without the fruit of love. This day let the word of God do its cleansing, pruning work. In that word you—whether you are alone or gathered with an assembly of disciples—are connected to the crucified and risen Christ, and God’s own Spirit flows to you. You are made alive and part of Christ for the life of the world. This day let Philip explain the scriptures also to you. Remember that, with the Ethiopian eunuch, you are baptized. Remember that you have drunk from Christ the vine at the eucharist in the past and you will do so again. Abide in Christ and let his word abide in you. Then, even now when the world is filled with fear, put fear away and turn in love toward your neighbors, especially toward those that others may consider outsiders.

READ:  Equality Act demonstrates Lutheran love of neighbor


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 377), That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 384), “To Christ Belong, in Christ Behold” (All Creation Sings 958). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright

To Christ Belong, in Christ Behold


Then pray these intercessions:

On this fifth Sunday of Easter, let us unite in Christ to pray for all in any need, responding to each petition with the words “Make us one in you.”

A brief silence.

God of triune mystery, as you have formed your church to be one fruitful vine, strengthen our churches and our ecumenical connections with Christians across the street and around the globe.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O loving God:
Make us one in you. 

As you blessed Philip the evangelist, nurture our missionaries and theologians, our seminaries, our Sunday schools, and all adult discussions of the faith.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O enlightening God:
Make us one in you. 

As you brought the Ethiopian eunuch to baptism, lead all Christian communities to welcome people of each sexual identity, every skin color, and all national backgrounds.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O embracing God:
Make us one in you. 

As you created an earth with countless forms of plant and animal life, train us to honor and maintain the bountiful earth that you intend for us and future generations.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O creating God:
Make us one in you. 

As you have provided food and drink for humankind, give to all persons wisdom in their use of wine, and strengthen recovering alcoholics in maintaining their sobriety.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O empowering God:
Make us one in you. 

As you call humankind to live in love with one another, bring peace to nations, to neighborhoods, and to homes. Protect the oppressed and the vulnerable in every land, show us the path to nonviolence in all things.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O reconciling God:
Make us one in you. 

As you have promised to hear the cries of all the needy, listen now to the countless people around the world who are suffering from sickness, from the coronavirus, from injustice, from abuse, from starvation. Hear our pleas for India. We pray especially for. . . .

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O healing God:
Make us one in you. 

As you have sustained each of us in your love, receive now the silent petitions of our hearts.

A longer period of silence.

Hear our prayer, O abiding God:
Make us one in you. 

We remember those who have died in the faith, especially today Athanasius the theologian and those we name in our hearts. As you have promised to bring your people into your strong and tender embrace, preserve us until we enter with all the saints into your everlasting mercy.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O eternal God:
Make us one in you. 

Into your hands, O living God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Now the Green Blade Rises” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 379), I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 619), “God Is Love” (All Creation Sings 1041). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

READ:  Prayer ventures: May 21

God Is Love


Then conclude with these prayers:

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

Praise to you, O God, for your Word of life:
creating a wondrous universe,
proclaiming freedom from captivity,
becoming the song of your people.
We praise you, O God, for your Word.
We praise you, O God, for your Word.

Your Word is made flesh among us:
with Mary in the garden, you call us by name.
With Thomas beholding your wounds, you call us to believe.
With sheep of other folds, we are gathered by your voice.
Your Word names our death and our life:
a seed that falls into the earth and dies,
rain and snow that come down from heaven to water the earth,
a vine in which we abide.
Through your Word, you appoint us to bear fruit, fruit that will last.
We bless you, O God, for your Word.
We bless you, O God, for your Word.

By your living Word, we are witnesses of these things.
Breathe into us your Holy Spirit.
Open our minds to understand the scriptures.
Give us wisdom to declare what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked at and touched with our hands
concerning the word of life.
Fill us with strength to love, not in word or speech alone,
but in truth and action.

With every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them,
we join in the hymn of all creation, as
we thank you, O God, for your life-giving Word.
We thank you, O God, for your life-giving Word.


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:

May our glorious God grant us a spirit of wisdom
to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life,
Father, + Son and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Once Led to Your Font;” “A New Commandment;” “Growth in Righteousness.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 80. Tuesday (commemoration of Monica, mother of Augustine, 387) James 3:17-18. Wednesday John 14:18-31. Thursday Psalm 98. Friday Acts 10:34-43. Saturday (commemoration of Julian Norwich, renewer of the church, c. 1416) Deuteronomy 32:44-47. Sixth Sunday of Easter (commemoration of Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, renewer of the church, hymnwriter, 1760) Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17.

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 will be provided for limited use.

Reflection text: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw.

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, All Creation Sings, and © 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.


Source: ELCA Blogs

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