15 May 2011

Family Worship

Recently, my husband and I attended the last vespers of the school year--we could hardly believe how fast the time had flown! But that is beside the point, because they had indeed saved one of the best topics for last. A brother and sister, both students at our university and renting a small house together, shared their testimony about family worship, which went something like the following.

They had been busy, squeezing every bit of life into every day, but missing something. One particularly busy morning, seminary student brother bounced into speech pathology student sister's bedroom, where she was frantically studying for an exam.

"Let's have family worship!" he said.

"I don't have time!" she replied.

Both siblings showing a bit of their strong personalities, sister eventually gave in and they had family worship. In fact, that morning they began having family worship together twice, I believe, every day, just as they had done in childhood with their parents.

They started noticing something: a line from the reading would give them needed strength for a trial; a snippet from a hymn sung together that morning would encourage their tired steps; the Lord blessed each with greater efficiency in their regular studies and tasks throughout the day.

The principles and ideas? A set time in the morning and evening that works well for all the members of the family. A set length of time, ensuring a non-rushed morning. Variety. Prayer--for each family member. Singing. Bible reading, or reading from another trusted book. Brief discussion of things read.

They also encouraged family members to have their own private devotional times before the beginning of family worship, and to have family worship before anyone leaves the house for the day.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful things of the presentation was that at the end of a concise presentation, they pretended we were not in the room, and had a family worship so that we could all, in our mixed group of singles, couples, and parents with children, see how they did it. And they applied the principle to everyone, saying that no matter what your life circumstances, it's important to connect daily with others, encouraging and building each other up.

Our couple-family has always had morning prayer together, and a wonderful evening worship. Since this vespers, we have filled out our morning prayer to a morning worship, complete with singing. What a blessing it has already been to our lives, and how grateful we are to be learning and practicing these principles early in our lives and marriage.

(Note: Something else we like to do, as shown in the above photo, is to take a little pocket Bible along on hikes and walks, and at a pretty stopping place, pause to reflect on our Creator and His words for us.)

(If you would like more ideas for family worship, you might reference, as the brother/sister team mentioned above did, a little book called Child Guidance, by Ellen White.)

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