Monday, July 27, 2020

Worshiping at Home on August 2, 2020

Worshiping at Home on August 2, 2020
Feeding the Whole Crowd

JESUS MAFA. Jesus multiplies the loaves and fish,
from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved July 4, 2014].


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 the story of Jesus’ feeding a huge crowd with a few loaves and some fish.  One key part of this story is Jesus’ insistence that the disciples could and should feed the crowd.  The same goes for us today.

Worship Space: This story begs to be told at a picnic.  So, plan one with whatever foods constitute a picnic for your household.  Spread a blanket on the ground or on the floor, if the weather does not cooperate.  Eat at a picnic table.  Or, sit on the floor around a low table indoors.  After you eat add an open Bible and a candle to the center of the table.

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
Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love
Take My Hands and Let Them Be
For the Bread Which You Have Broken
Doxology – Praise God from whom all blessings flow…


After enjoying your picnic, clear the table, add the Bible, and light the candle with match or battery switch.  Then, call everyone to worship saying, “Come, let us worship God together.”

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

This version of the feeding of the multitudes, does not name a child as the one providing the loaves and fishes.  Others do.  So ask child to read Matthew 14:13-21.  Note before the reading that this is a story of a picnic Jesus and his followers shared.

Together ponder these questions about the story
1.      I wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus told them to feed the crowd.
2.      What do you think the disciples thought when they realized there was going to be enough to feed the crowd?
3.      What do you think they did with the leftover food?
4.      How did it feel to the crowd to be offered free food with no questions asked in a remote place in a time when food was not abundant?
5.      In that day who you ate with was important.  Jesus often got in trouble over the people with whom he ate.  How do you think it felt to with down with a huge number of strangers to share food?
6.      What do we do at OUR TOWN/OUR CHURCH to follow Jesus’ example in this story?

When you finish your explorations, everyone says together, “This is the Word of the Lord.”

Point out “Give us this day our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer.  Note that it does not say give ME but give US.  Then, invite the family to pray for hungry people everywhere, by praying the phrase in response to the prayer leader.

God, we thank you for the yummy picnic we have just shared.  Thank you for the….(name the foods you ate).  In gratitude we remember that you…

Give us this day our daily bread.

For refugees from war and famine who do not know when or where their next meal will be we pray...

Give us this day our daily bread.

For people who work hard on farms that have dried up producing no food, we pray….

Give us this day our daily bread.

For people who work hard at jobs that pay so little that there is not enough for food every day, we pray…

Give us this day our daily bread.

Creator God, you have filled the world with food, help us find ways to see that everyone gets their share.  We pray…

Give us this day our daily bread.

Give us this day our daily bread.  AMEN.

Together write a family check to the local food bank or another hunger fighting organization.  Summer is always a hard time for such groups, but people are still hungry – especially this year.  Plan together for sending your check off.


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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