Sunday, May 3, 2020

Worshiping at Home on May 10, 2020

Worshiping at Home
May 10, 2020

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 focuses on 1 Peter’s description of the church (or the family church in this home) as the people of God.  Since it is Mother’s Day or the Festival of the Christian Family we will look at what each member of the family contributes to the whole. 

Set up your worship space.  Create a simple worship space spreading a pretty piece of fabric on a table and placing a Bible open to 1 Peter 2, and maybe a candle.  Add this picture of a human tower either printed on paper or on the computer and dish filled with slips of paper containing the name of each person in the family.

Gather paper and crayons or markers with which to make cards for each other.  The cards could be index cards or a piece of paper folded like a greeting card.

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 still 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.
Praise Ye the Lord, Alleluia
Jesus Loves Me
I am the church, you are the church we are the church together


Worship leader gathers the family saying:   “We are a spiritual house, God’s own people.  So come, let us worship God together.”

Sing one or more songs of happy praise songs or Easter songs that you selected as you got ready to worship.

A parent reminds the family that when we live close together as God’s people things get messed 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.

Read 1 Peter 2:9.  Read it a second time changing all the yous to we/us.  Decide together whether you feel more like a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, or God’s own people.  Then point to the picture of the human tower and ponder the following questions:

In the human tower, what does each person do to keep the tower standing?
Stands on another person’s shoulders
Lets another person stand on their shoulders
Braces the tower with their arms
Lets other people climb up them to make the tower even taller

In what way is our family like the human tower?

What does each person (Mother, Father, each child by name, etc) do to keep the tower standing?  (Each person will do some unique things and some things that everyone in the family does.)

What do we do individually and as a family to proclaim God’s mighty acts to our world?

Pass the bowl with names of each family member on a slip of paper.  Each person draws one.  Swap with someone else if you get your own name.  Each person is to pray aloud for the person whose name they have drawn.  Take a minute or two for people to think about what they want to pray.  (If for any reason, you don’t expect this to work, plan for one person to pray for each member of the family.)  Close praying the Lord’s Prayer together.

Each member of the family makes an card for each member of the family.  Simply write one person’s name and draw or write something that person does that you like.  When you finish put all the cards on the worship table, say a brief prayer giving your cards to each other and to God.  Sing whatever song you sing at offering time at church.  Then pass the cards to their recipients.

SING ANOTHER SONG 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.

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