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WORSHIP AT HOME A Devotional Guide for Personal Worship WHEN YOU CAN'T GET TO CHURCH

Worship is derived from an ancient word that meant "to place value upon". In acts of worship, we demonstrate how much we value God and God’s gifts to us, including our personal existence. We sometimes use special words and actions to bring focus and clarity to our worship. Worship, along with the words and symbolic actions help the Church remember its sacred story.

What the Church tries to do in corporate, ritual worship is not re-enact but re-member, to make the past real in the present. It is the polar opposite of amnesia. The Church's recollection of the past is akin to the experience one has when the smell something that makes a past memory present all over again. We enter into the realm of spiritual mystery, where the past is not past and the present is the future and the future is now.

The Church's memory is key to understanding what the Church does during Holy Week, its special observance of the last week of Jesus' life. The Church enters a mode of contemplation. The readings and the actions actions of worship are are always shrouded with thinly veiled meaning, and this week, it is even more so. The Holy Ghost reveals the secrets of the veil mystery to those who desire to know. As we are unable to meet together corporately, I encourage you to adopt a posture of contemplation. Concentrate on the spiritual–the realities of life that connect us most with God and with all of creation. Open your hearts and minds to the Holy Ghost’s influence so you may see, hear, and perhaps even feel these stories anew.

Worship at Home

Set aside time and space for worship in your home.

Though we can worship God anywhere, we tend to value places set aside for the specific mode of being that is worship. And generally speaking, we like the order brought to our lives by worship on a certain day at a certain time in a certain place. We love our church buildings. The ritual of getting dressed in our best clothes for church. Sitting in our favorite seat. One of the challenges we face with social distancing is the dis-order of not coming together to worship regularly. Thankfully, we can prepare the spaces where we live to act as a place of meeting and encounter with God.

You may find that all you need is a table. A chair. A Bible. A Cross. A candle. What objects around your home make you feel spiritual? Make you feel connected with God? Imagine Jesus Christ is coming to share a meal with you or a cup of coffee. Imagine Jesus Christ also telling you that you didn't have to go all out for this meeting. You don't have to shampoo carpets or furnish your home with anything fancy. Using what you have, just make a place for you and God to talk. Make the time. Make the place. Show up. God will do the rest.

Credits:

Created with images by Deborah Diem - "the table is set" • James L.W - "Cross" • Becca Tapert - "Modern Living" • Daniil Silantev - "Studio Time…" • Sylvie Tittel - "When I visited a hotel in Hamburg I caught the imperfection of undone, white bedsheets." • Rumman Amin - "Find me on Instagram @Rumanamin" • Alex Baber - "Bramble Cottage" • Suhyeon Choi - "simple"