Talking about Worship

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Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2).

An essential part of keeping the Sabbath day holy is to worship the Lord. Worshiping with others can be a special part of the Lord’s day. But worshiping the Lord should continue throughout the day (and throughout the week) by trying to obey His commandments. For “a person is worshiping all the time if love and charity abide in him, external worship being only the outward expression of it” (Arcana Coelestia 1618).

Key ideas that we can teach children about worship

These ideas can help us expand our ideas about ways to worship the Lord each day, not just on Sunday.

Little ones can be taught:

  • Worship brings us closer to the Lord.
  • Opening the Word reminds us that the Lord is near and speaks to us in His Word.
  • Worship is a special way to show the Lord we love Him.

When children are older, they can learn that:

  • We worship the Lord because we want to be led and taught by Him.
  • Worship helps us receive the Lord.
  • Worship from the heart is true worship and involves obeying the Lord’s commandments.
  • The Lord and His angels are with us in a special way when we worship the Lord.

Ideas for teenagers include:

  • True worship requires a life of charity, not a life of piety apart from a useful life.
  • Other aspects of worship are reading the Word; thought and meditation about God, heaven, eternal life and salvation; and self-exploration.
  • Worship helps us admit our limitations and look to the Lord for help in fighting evils.

Additional ideas for adults include:

  • Worship offered in freedom is worship coming from the heart (Arcana Coelestia 9588).
  • Worship of the Lord is from free choice but not compulsion (see Heaven and Hell 603).
  • In compelling oneself there is freedom (Arcana Coelestia 1947:1,2).
  • Participating in external worship can prepare us to receive spiritual gifts from the Lord (see Arcana Coelestia 1618).
  • When a person obeys the Lord consistently, it forms a habit that contains both affection and freedom (Arcana Coelestia 4884:2).

Resources for all ages

  • “A Day of Rest” by Alfred Acton (ages 4-6)
    In the New Church we are told that when we are trying to be loving and kind to other people, then the Lord is at rest. And this is the real Sabbath.
  • “What Worship Is” by Brian W. Keith (for 18 and up)
    When we participate in formal worship the Lord is very near, and this presence stirs deep within us all that we have learned or felt about our Creator. The essential worship is what flows from our hearts as we approach our God and Lord.
  • “Why We Worship the Lord on Sundays” by F.E. Gyllenhaal
    The Lord taught that there should be a day of worship and rest. He did not name the day but many people chose what “the first day of the week” (later known as Sunday) because that is the day He rose from the sepulcher.
  • Prayers on Keeping the Sabbath (ages 18 and up)
    Two prayers reflecting on ways we can worship the Lord in daily life as well as worship services.
  • Where Two or Three Are Gathered Together (ages 5-9)
    When we come together to worship the Lord, He can draw near us. Make a picture of the Lord in the sanctuary of your church. You may want to show the Lord holding out His Word to us, offering us the wondering teachings that can lead us to heaven.
  • Why Do We Kneel When We Pray?
    Explores the reasons that kneeling, closing our eyes, and folding our hands can help open our minds and hearts to the Lord when we pray.
  • Looking Outward (teens and adults)
    Reflect on ways that you can reconnect with the Lord and with the people in your life. Use the graphic organizer to note your ideas for ways to “connect” with the Lord and ways for connecting with others.

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