Sunday, April 19, 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship at Home - April 19, 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship at Home
Resurrection Sunday
April 19, 2020

$         Introduction
$         Home Worship Guide
$         More Links to Helpful Resources   

Dear Church Family,

I’ve been praying for all of us to experience “the peace that transcends understanding,” a supernatural and seemingly illogical serenity in the face of anxiety-inducing days. One way to seek that peace is to worship God with our whole hearts. We have prepared another ten step guide for you to use in family worship at home, and I will be recording another video message and posting it to YouTube and Facebook this weekend.

Lord-willing, my message will conclude our 80-part sermon series, “Following Jesus,” on the Gospel of Matthew, and it will highlight the Hide the Word verses we’ve been memorizing this Spring. Our “Worship in Unity” this week draws from our own EFCA statement of faith and emphasizes the disciple-making mission our Lord has entrusted to us.

We are planning another Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom, and you and your family are invited. This week, we are going to be joined by Greg Strand from the EFCA national office. Many of you know Greg as the teacher at our Stay Sharp theology conference. I’ve asked him to share with us some of his thoughts about COVID-19 and Christianity. Bring your theological questions!

[As before, I will be there on Zoom at 10:45am to help anyone who needs a little practice to get set up. This technology is new to most of us.]

I hope you are playing Christian music in your home during this strange season, especially songs about the resurrection. The 50 days after Resurrection Sunday, often called “Eastertide,” are a great time each year to meditate on the resurrection and fill your heart with the truth of the gospel. Tune into Christian radio or television. Find resurrection-themed playlists on YouTube and Spotify. But don’t let everybody else do your singing for you. Make sure that you raise your own voice in praise of the Lord because “His love endures forever!”

What time are you going to gather your household this weekend to worship the risen Lord Jesus Christ?

In His Grip,
- Pastor Matt

Home Worship Guide
1. Call to Worship
Read Psalm 136 which is about God’s loyal love for His people.

**Option: Divide up your family into two groups: readers and chorus. Have the readers read the first part of each verse in Psalm 136 and then the chorus shout the refrain together, “His love endures forever!” For even more fun, have the chorus say their part in Hebrew which sounds like, “Key Leholam Hasdo.”

Have someone pray and ask God to bless your time of worship at home.

2. Worship in Singing

As a household sing “Come, Christians, Join to Sing” by Christian Bateman (1843).

**Option. Our church family often adds in this verse by poet Kevin Hartnett:

“Come, praise the risen Lamb,
Alleluia!  Amen!
He died to ransom man.
Alleluia!  Amen!
On that triumphant day,
He took our sins away;
Death could not bid Him stay,
Alleluia!  Amen!”

3. Worship in Unity

Recite together Article 8 of the EFCA Statement of Faith:

“We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.”

4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving

Psalm 136 recounts God’s faithfulness in both the joys and hardships of life. Have each family member share something they are missing right now and something they are thankful for this week.

**Option: Have everyone shout, “His love endures forever!” after each family member shares.

**Option: During the family fellowship meeting on Zoom today, we are going to ask everyone, especially the kids, to tell us something your family did for fun at home this week. Prepare a family spokesman to tell us about your family’s fun item.

5. Worship in Bible Memorization

As a family recite our “Hide the Word” verse for this Spring: Matthew 28:18-20.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

**Option: We have reached our goal! Challenge each family member to say the whole thing on their own out loud for the group.

6. Worship in Prayer

Take prayer requests and pray for each other.

Read the prayer guide together and pray for the rest of the church family and the requests listed.

7. Worship in the Word

Watch or read Pastor Matt’s message: “Go and Make Disciples.
Some families (especially those with teens) may want to watch/read the message on their own and then have a Bible study and discussion together during this time.

Application Questions for Personal Reflection and Family Discussion:

1. Do my choices in daily life demonstrate that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth?
2. What am I currently doing to make disciples of Jesus?
3. Have I been baptized? Why or why not?
4. Who am I teaching to obey the things Jesus has commanded?
5. What difference will it make for me this week that Jesus is with me to the end of the age?

8. Worship in Singing
Sing “All Glory Be To Christ” by Dustin Kensrue (2012) to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne.”

9. Worship All Week

Have someone pray a prayer of commissioning for your family as you end this time of gathered worship and face a week of new opportunities and new challenges to serve the Lord, the church, and the world in His Name.

10. Participate in LEFC Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom.

- See one another’s faces and hear each other’s voices.
- Tell the group something your family did for fun at home this week.
- Interact with Greg Strand from the EFCA national office.
- Pray for one another live and online.

More Links to Helpful Resources  

Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Greg Strand has been providing helpful resources and theological reflection. Consider taking time today to read through a few of them: