Worshiping at Home
May 24, 2020
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.
This week is the last Sunday of the Easter season, We celebrate the Ascension of the Lord and follow his example of praying for his disciples by praying for our friends.
Plan ahead to how you will present today’s story. Decide whether to read the Ascension story from Acts or from a Bible story book.
Gather one sheet of paper and some crayons, markers, or pencils for each member of your household.
Have your check book and an envelope and stamp handy to write an offering check.
Set up your worship center. Create a simple worship space spreading a pretty piece of fabric on a table or the floor and adding an open Bible or Bible storybook and a candle.
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 been singing Easter songs, sing them today. (It is the last Sunday of the Easter season.) If you have instrumentalists, decide early enough that they can practice. Or, Google the titles of songs to find YouTube videos for singing along. Print copies of the word sheet at the end of this post to use singing “Come Christians Join to Sing” with all its “Alleluias.” Other songs to enjoy include:
Praise Ye the Lord, Alleluia
Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart
He Is King of Kings
WORSHIPING GOD TOGETHER
CALLING YOURSELVES TO WORSHIP
Worship leader gathers the family lighting or turning on the candle and saying: “Come, let us worship God together.”
SINGING FOR GOD AND JESUS
Sing one or more songs of songs about God and Jesus 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 when we sing and think about how loving and powerful God is, we are aware of all the ways we mess up. Each one of us have things we need tell God we 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
Read the story of Jesus’ ascension from Acts 1:1-11 in the Bible or a Bible storybook.
Questions to ponder:
What do you think it looked like when Jesus rose up to heaven?
How do you think they felt when they saw Jesus rise up and disappear?
How do you think they felt when Jesus told them “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem… and to the ends of the earth”?
In response to the story in Acts, read verses from Psalm 93 together. One leader reads the verses pointing to the rest of the family to say loud happy “ALLELUIAs!“ after each phrase.
The Lord is King.
He is clothed with majesty and strength.
The earth is set firmly in place and cannot be moved.
Your throne, O Lord, has been firm from the beginning,
And you existed before time began.
Your laws are eternal, Lord,
and your Temple is holy indeed, forever and ever.
Psalm 93:1-2,and 5 (TEV)
PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER
Note that Jesus often prayed for his disciples. Read John 17:6-11. Together list things Jesus told God about his friends and asked God for. Then, give each person a piece of paper and a marker/crayon/pencil. Instruct them to draw a loopy shape like the one at the right. In each space write the name of one of their friends (could be family and older friends, friends of the same age or younger friends) . Take time to draw or write prayers for each of those persons. Place prayer sheets on the worship center. Close praying the Lord’s Prayer together.
GIVING OUR MONEY TO GOD
Together write a check to your church for the usual amount you give as a family. Put it in an envelope, address and stamp it. Walk it out to the mailbox together or assign one person to do so after worship. (This helps children know how much your family gives to the church, which many children do not. It also makes sure your church gets the money you cannot put in the plate during these shelter at home days.)
SING ANOTHER SONG if you wish. “Lord I Want to be a Christian”
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.