Monday, August 3, 2020

Worshiping at Home on August 9, 2020

Worshiping at Home on August 9, 2020

God Knows All About Family Fusses

(and loves us anyway)


 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. 

 The worship theme this week:  Often we think our families are the only ones that fuss and feud with each other.  We think God must be appalled at us at times.  But even at our worst few of us have actually planned to sell our brother or sister.  Today’s story of Joseph and his brothers assures us that God still loves and uses a family that plays favorites, boasts to each other, tattles, and even sells a brother.  No one comes off looking good.  If, God still loves and uses them, we can expect God to love and use our families. 

 Prepare to share this story.  Choose whether to read Genesis 37 in the Bible or a storybook.  The chapter in the Bible is long.  If you read it, have it read by a good reader who has read through it before and can read dramatically.  If you read from a Bible storybook, stop when the brothers sell Joseph into slavery.  We will read the conclusion next week.

Set up your worship space with a Bible or Bible story book (today open to Genesis 37 or the story of Joseph and his brothers), a candle, and a photo of your family.  Some will set up chairs in rows or a circle.  Others will simply worship wherever they gather. 

Also have on hand a sheet of paper for each family member and a collection of crayons or markers.

 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.  Songs to consider for this week:

For the Beauty of the Earth

There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

The Servant Song – “Brother, sister, let me serve you….”

Dona Nobis Pacem




Keep it simple and repeat it each week.  It becomes a way to say we are getting started now.  Light or turn on your candle and say, “Come, let us worship God together.”


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


Read story of Joseph and his brothers from Genesis 37 or a Bible storybook.  Stop with his sale as a slave to Egypt.  Ponder these questions:

              What did Joseph do to cause trouble with his brothers?

              How did his brothers feel when Joseph told him his two dreams?

              What did the brothers do to cause trouble for Joseph?

              Why do you think the brothers might have cried, “It is not fair!” 

              What did their father do to cause trouble among his sons?

              Can you believe God would have used and loved this family? 

              Why or why not?

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


Together list all the things that caused trouble between Joseph and his brothers.

Then list things that cause trouble between siblings today.

 A parent reminds the family that each one of them have caused trouble with others in their family - maybe during the last week, maybe a long time ago.  Allow a full minute of silence for everyone to close their eyes and talk to God those things.  The same parent then says, “Look at me.  God promises us that whenever we mess up and are truly sorry, God forgives us.  God loved Joseph and his brothers.   And God 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.



This image just gets you started.  Everyone will have to add their
specific prayer topics for the members of their family.

To pray for each of the member of our household draw a loopy figure with the same number of spaces in it as there are members of your family – and, yes, pets count.  Write one person’s name in each space and add pictures or words that remind you of things about them for which you are thankful, things you wish for them, etc.  When everyone is done, share your papers as your prayers for each other.  Prayers start with phrases such as “I thank you God for NAME’S…”  “God, help NAME with…”  Prayer leader concludes with a  brief prayer for the whole family.



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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