Looking for the Dec. 25 at home worship guide? It's here.
For the first followers of Jesus, the home was the central gathering place for worship (Deut. 6:4â€“9, 1 Cor. 16:19, Col. 4:15). Friends and family gath- ered to read the scriptures, sing songs, reflect on the goodness of God, and share a meal. For the earliest followers of Jesus, worship began in the home.
A few times each year, we like to take the opportunity to get back to our roots. On Sunday, December 25th and January 1st, Ethos Church will not be gathering at the regular times for worship at the Cannery. Instead, Ethos Church will be meeting in hundreds of homes throughout Nashville and beyond.
In fact, wherever you are on December 25th and January 1st is where Ethos Church will be meeting.
We have provided a few ideas to give you some direction as you wor- ship at home. Feel free to use as many of these ideas as you would like. Our goal in this time is to help us love God and love people, and if these can help you do that, wonderful. If not, feel free to be creative and think about how to draw your family into loving God and people.
As you begin your time of family worship, we encourage you to find a place that is comfortable, where your family often gathers. Gather around the dinner table, brew a cup of coffee and sit on your back porch, or find that perfect spot on your couch. The choice is yours.
WORSHIP IN SONG
We believe very few things prepare our hearts to encounter God like wor- shipping Him through song. We have provided a cd with several songs we recorded specifically for this worship time at home. You can sing along with these songs, listen and reflect on the words, or sing your own songs.
There is something about the beginning of a new year that creates the perfect environment for self reflection. Read Psalm 139:23â€“24 as a prayer over your time of worship and reflection. Give each person a blank piece of paper and pen. Ask each person two write down these two things:
1. As you think back on this past year, what things caused your heart to be anxious, bothered, or distracted?
2. As you think about the new year, where do you hope God will help lead you in the way everlasting and closer to Him?
ALL THINGS NEW
For some, the start of a new year is filled with hope. It is the time to let go of the past and start fresh. For others, it carries as bit of sadness. Christmas is over, winter has fully set in, there are no leaves on the trees, and weather can be rather bleak. Regardless of how you may feel, each new year can serve as a powerful reminder that Jesus alone can make things new. During the days of Isaiah, the people of God felt as though they were in a proverbial winter. The days of Godâ€™s favor seemed like a distant memory. But in the midst of those times, God promised them that better days were coming. Read Isaiah 65:17â€“25.
1. What images come to mind when you read this promise that God will make all things new?
Jesusâ€™ birth ushered in the beginning of a new era. His birth signaled that things were forever going to be different. For those who had been wait- ing on the Messiah, this brought great hope. Read Romans 15:13. Pass the communion and take the bread and the cup as you discuss Jesus.
2. How has Jesusâ€™ arrival filled you with hope and peace?
3. How would this new year be different if you were filled with hope that came from the Holy Spirit as you trusted in Jesus?
FAMILY PRAYER TIME
Finally, we invite you to close your time of family worship in prayer. Spend time as a family praying for the people you know who are in des- perate need of hope. Pray that God will breathe new life into their world this year. Pray that the God of hope will overflow their lives with reality of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
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