Worshiping at Home
July 26, 2020
Little Things Make a Big Difference
GETTING READY TO WORSHIP TOGETHER AT HOME
When a family that includes children worships at home, it will look more free form than what happens in a sanctuary. Especially HEARING THE WORD will be more active. Children explore God’s word with eyes, voices, hands and even feet as well as their ears. Within this free form it also good to have a few rituals that are repeated every week. You will find suggestions for both ways to hear God’s particular Word each week and rituals that surround it every week. Over the weeks, every family will develop their own worship style. With that in mind check out the worship preparations and the worship plan focused on ….
Set up your worship space. Make a worship center that includes a Bible (today open to Matthew 13:31-33), a candle (battery or match lit), one plate with a collection of seeds on it and another plate with a roll or slice of bread and a cracker on it. Enlist the help of family members to gather as many seeds as they can – apple seeds, tomato seeds, an acorn, a pea, etc.
It is possible to worship together without singing at all. But if your family sings together, decide before worship what you will sing. Sing whatever songs about Jesus and God your family knows. If you have a hymnal, look up “God” or “Jesus” or “Praise God” in the topical index to find familiar hymns. If you have instrument players, choose the songs enough ahead that they can practice and play along as you sing. If you have recorded music sing along with your favorite singer. If you know the songs below they are good choices for today.
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
This Little Light of Mine
Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love
Take My Hands and Let Them Be
The Johnny Appleseed Blessing
WORSHIPING GOD TOGETHER
CALLING YOURSELVES TO WORSHIP
Keep it simple and repeat it each week. It becomes a way to say we are getting started now.
“Come, let us worship God together.”
SINGING FOR GOD AND JESUS
Sing one or more songs of happy praise that you selected as you got ready to worship.
TELLING GOD WE ARE SORRY AND HEARING THAT GOD FORGIVES US
A parent reminds the family that each one of them have things they need tell God they are sorry about, maybe from the last week, maybe from a long time ago. Allow a full minute of silence for everyone to close their eyes and talk to God about the ways they have messed up. The same parent then says, “Look at me. God promises us that whenever we mess up and are truly sorry, God forgives us. God always loves us no matter what. Because God loves us no matter what, we can love each other no matter what. So…” Pass the peace as you do in the sanctuary if you are all healthy.
HEARING AND EXPLORING THE WORD
Today we will read two parables about the Kingdom of God. Have one person read each parable and ponder the questions about if before moving to the other parable.
Matthew 13:31-32 The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed
- Look at each of the seeds in your worship center. Describe the plant and fruit it grows into. Marvel at the transformation.
- What do you think Jesus was trying to tell his listeners?
- Why is it hard to remember that?
Matthew 13:33 The parable of the yeast
- Identify the differences in the roll or slice of bread and the cracker in the worship center. Explain that what makes that difference is a little bit of yeast in the bread and lack of yeast in the cracker.
- What do you think Jesus was telling his listeners?
- What did he want them to do?
When you finish your explorations, everyone says together,
“This is the Word of the Lord.”
OFFERING OUR GIFTS AND LOVE
Plan to do something small that might make a big difference in someone’s life.
- Make a card or write a short letter to someone who might be shut in and lonely.
- Zoom/Skype/Facetime with someone you have not heard from in a while. Think of friends you cannot visit or play with, people you do not see at church now, etc.
- Make a baked treat to deliver to one of these people.
When you finish say a brief prayer giving your gifts to God and you friends and sing whatever song you sing at offering time at church.
PRAYING FOR OURSELVES AND THE WORLD
A parent invites family members to tell God about things the prayer leader will mention. In some families this will be eyes closed, taking turns to pray. In other families it will be eyes open and more like listing together what you want to say to God. If you all know the Lord’s Prayer, conclude by praying it together.
Let us tell God what is hard and what makes us sad about this time with the virus.
No sports, not seeing friends, missing vacations, wondering what school will be like this year, being stuck at home, etc.
Let us ask God to help us with things that are hard for us.
Patience when others are driving us nuts, kindness for each other, etc.
Let us ask God to take special care of other people.
Name individuals you are concerned about for any reason.
Be with us all, God. Help us do whatever little things we can do for our world and for those around us. Take what we do and use it to do big things we do not even imagine. Amen.
SING ANOTHER SONG MORE if you wish
Each member of the family says to at least one other person, “Go in peace. God loves you and I love you.” This may be done by going around the circle or with each member of the family saying it to every other member of the family.