Worshiping at Home
July 12, 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.
This week’s our worship is built around the parable of the seeds . Jesus says that God sows the seed/news of the kingdom abundantly. We are invited to sow seed abundantly also.
Create a worship center by spreading a pretty piece of fabric. On it set an open Bible, a candle (either wick or battery), and collection of things that grow from seeds, e.g. flowers, vegetables, fruit. Challenge family members to find as many things that grow from seeds as possible.
Print a copy of Psalm 65:9-13 below. Mount it with glue or tape in the center of a large sheet of paper – perhaps the inside of a paper grocery bag or the back of a sheet of gift wrap paper. Leave enough of a border around it for the household to draw plants in the margins.
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9 You take care of the earth
and send rain to help the soil
grow all kinds of crops.
Your rivers never run dry,
and you prepare the earth
to produce much grain.
10 You water all of its fields
and level the lumpy ground.
You send showers of rain
to soften the soil
and help the plants sprout.
11 Wherever your footsteps
touch the earth,
a rich harvest is gathered.
12 Desert pastures blossom,
and mountains celebrate.
13 Meadows are filled
with sheep and goats;
valleys overflow with grain
and echo with joyful songs.
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Gather socks for sock puppets to use in reading the parable of the Sower of Seeds. You will need a light brown (the path), gray (rocks), black (birds and thorns), dark brown (good soil) and green or white you can imagine are green (the plants). You will need at least one of each, two of the black and as many of the green as you have hands.
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 praising God that your family knows. If you have instrumentalists, decide early enough that they can practice. Or, Google the titles of songs to find YouTube videos for singing along. Some songs praising God include:
There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy
Johnny Appleseed grace
All Things Bright and Beautiful
For the Beauty of the Earth
WORSHIPING GOD TOGETHER
CALLING YOURSELVES TO WORSHIP
Worship leader gathers the family lighting or turning on the candle and saying: “Come, let us worship and praise God together.”
SINGING SONGS OF PRAISE
Sing one or more songs praising God for things that grow from seeds that you selected as you got ready to worship. If you sing some you sang last week, savor their familiarity.
HEARING AND EXPLORING THE WORD
Gather around a table or on the floor to draw pictures of all sorts of plants God grows – flowers, vegetables, etc. – around your Psalm 65 poster. When you are done, hold the poster where you can all see it while someone reads the verses of the psalm as your prayer thanking God for all the things that come from seeds that are nourished by God.
A leader passes out the socks saying what each stands for. A person might wear a sock of a different colors on each hand. The leader then reads Matthew 13:1-9 encouraging sock wearers to imagine what they could do to act the part of their socks. Talk about how you will act it out as the parable is read again. You may want to read it even a third time just to enjoy it and get the whole story.
Point out that Jesus’s friends wanted to know why he told this story and what it meant. He told them. Read Matthew 13:18-23. Together put it into your own words. If you know the Harry Potter story, compare this to Hagrid’s sending Harry hundreds of letters inviting him to go to Hogwarts. Most of the letters got stopped by his uncle, but one finally got through to Harry. Both the Sower in Jesus’ story and Hagrid, kept putting their seeds/letters out there.
SOWING YOUR SEEDS BY GIVING A GIFT TO GOD
Commit together to planting “seeds” this week by writing a check to a cause, getting food to give to the food bank, etc. Decide where you will send you seed and send them off with a prayer that they will grow and make a good difference.
SING ANOTHER SOWER SONG
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.