Sunday, May 10, 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship at Home - May 10, 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship at Home
Mothers’ Day
May 10, 2020

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

Dear Church Family,

When I was growing up, my Mom always sang songs about Jesus while she went about her housework. (I’m sure she still does.) Her voice rings in my mind even as I type these words out for you:

            “I have a song that Jesus gave me...”

            “Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin..”

            “...there’s just something about that name.”

            “And He walks with me, and He talks with me...”

            “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”

            “To God be the glory–great things He hath done!”

On this Mothers’ Day weekend, I am incredibly grateful not only that Mom gave me birth but for the song in her heart and how it helped birth a song in mine.

Lord-willing, this Sunday at 11am, many of us are going to “gather” again using Zoom for a Family Fellowship time (I’ll be there by 10:45 to help folks get set-up). I’d like to ask every participant to share something in particular that they learned from their mother: a life-lesson, a spiritual truth, a helpful practice, a great example. I’m sure everybody has a story to tell!

By the way, it’s important that we also all remember that Mother’s Day is a hard day for many people many reasons including grief, loss, infertility, broken relationships, and shattered dreams. As we celebrate the joys of motherhood, we also recognize the sorrows.

We have prepared another ten-step guide for your family to use in worship at home. The theme of rejoicing continues as does our series of video messages on the book of Philippians. I hope these are an encouragement to you. For the “Worship in Unity,” we return to the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) which we were introduced to last month. In question #104, the framers noticed that the fifth commandment from Exodus 20 is repeated in Ephesians 6 as having ongoing relevance to our lives, and they also applied it to all God-ordained authorities, not just to parents. It seems appropriate to remind ourselves of this truth not just because of Mother’s Day, but also during these difficult days when we are being asked to submit to earthly authorities–in ways that are sometimes uncomfortable and even unpleasant–in the interest of public health and safety. I have again worded the translation into the first person plural so that we declare it together as a community of faith with the communion of the saints.

Please continue to pray for our church leaders as we consider how ministry will change as the government lifts some restrictions. We want to make the most wise and loving choices for our whole church family. Pray for patience, as well, because we all want to get things back to “normal,” but may have to wait for some time.

Speaking of time, what time are you going to gather your household this weekend to worship the Lord Jesus Christ?

In His Grip,

- Pastor Matt

P.S. I just finished reading a wonderful book by John Starke, The Possibility of Prayer: Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World. In the last chapter, he writes something I thought was very appropriate for us all right now:

“If God is who he says he is, then singing is the most rational thing. To sing is to join ourselves to ultimate reality–to join ourselves with everything that isn't asleep. Singing is a declaration that we are awake to reality, awake to God and to our life with him.

To not sing is to be out of sync with reality, to miss something fundamental not just about ourselves but about all of creation. To live without singing of our delight in God is like driving a car in second gear; you can drive it that way, but you'll never open yourself up to the pleasure of driving down the open road with the engine at full capacity" (pg. 170).

Home Worship Guide
1. Call to Worship
Read Psalm 34 as your family gathers to worship the Lord. When finished reading the whole psalm, repeat verse 3.

**Option: Families with young children may want to simply read verses 1-3.

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

2. Worship in Singing

As a household sing “To God Be the Glory” by Fanny Crosby (1875).

**Option. Families with younger children might want to repeat the song that has our Hide the Word verse in it: “Rejoice in the Lord Always.” Parents might plan to do this short song for several weeks because repetition helps us to learn something well. Don’t forget that it is also a canon your family can sing “in the round.”

**Option. This Sunday is Mothers’ Day. If your household has a mother in it, ask her what her favorite worship song is and sing it, too.

3. Worship in Unity

Recite together Question #104 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

Q. What does God require in the fifth commandment?

A. That we show all honor, love and faithfulness to our fathers and mothers, and to all in authority over us; submit ourselves with due obedience to all their good instruction and correction; and also bear patiently with their infirmities: since it is God’s will to govern us by their hand.

4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving

In Psalm 34, King David continually praises God but also speaks frankly about his troubles. His example for us today is to cry out to God in our trials and bring him our fears while we live out the fear of the LORD in hopeful expectation.

Have each family member share something for which you are praising the Lord and a trouble or fear you are currently experiencing.

**Option. Have each family member share something about your mother for which you are thankful.

**Option. Have someone pray a prayer of lament that we are not celebrating our mothers together in person this Sunday in our normal worship gathering.

5. Worship in Bible Memorization

Recite Philippians 4:4, the first of our new “Hide the Word” verses for this Spring:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

**Option: Don’t wait until the verses get long and difficult to memorize. Have each family member close their eyes and say the verse out loud. We will add the next verse next week!

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: “Whatever Happens.”

Some families 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. Am I living right now in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ? If not, where do I need to change?
2. Am I standing firm and standing together with my brothers and sisters for the gospel? If not, how do I need to change?
3. Am I receiving my suffering for the gospel as a gift to honor God with? If not, what do I need to change?

8. Worship in Singing

Sing “In the Garden” by Austin Miles (1913).

**Option: The newest song we have learned together as a church family is “Jesus, Strong and Kind” by CityAlight (2019). Some families may want to sing it as a closing song. The words and tune are very simple but also very profound.

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 - 11am on Sunday.

Many of us are meeting through video-conference online this Sunday at 11:00am:

- See one another’s faces and hear each other’s voices.
- Listen to announcements of church family news.
- Tell the group something your mother taught you.
- Pray for one another live and online.