In the second giving of the Law in Scriptures, Deuteronomy 5: 15, we are given a purpose for God’s commandment of observing the Sabbath by gathering together as a faith community and worshipping Yahweh.
Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
The word, remember, means more than simply recalling God’s saving act for God’s people in the past. It also means to understand that this same God is actively forming faith, shaping faith, nurturing faith and strengthening faith in each of us now. The Holy Spirit calls and gathers us to celebrate our relationship with God through the saving act God in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. For all that God is doing in our lives we are to thank and praise, serve and obey God with our family in our homes and in our extended families in our congregations. Intergenerational worship is essential for strong faith formation.
In Families at the Center of Faith Formation, by Leif Kehrwald, John Roberto, Gene Roehlekepartain, and Jolene Roehlkepartain (LifelongFaith Associates, 2016) share ten factors of various age groups that aspects of faith formation that integrate faith and life:
- Feeling valued and accepted
- Developing caring relationships
- Engaging in learning
- Celebrating Milestones
- Praying and meditating
- Serving, volunteering, and helping
- Attending worship services
- Finding meaning and purpose
- Examining personal religion and spirituality
- Developing an integrated faith.
Please remember that the Holy Spirit is at work in our worship in our homes/families and in our congregations. For Christians, worship in not just an option on a given day of the week, but rather a way of life.
In this section on Worship I am suggesting that in both in our family and in the faith community of our congregation we should be remembering to pray, praise and give thanks to our gracious and loving God.
Families should remember to connect God with daily life by celebrating milestones, practicing spiritual disciplines as a family of prayer, meditation, devotions, singing praise, and sharing faith stories.
Congregations should remember to develop worship services that connect to the daily lives of the people and especially to remember that every generation brings a gift to the Body of Christ. By worshipping together with all the generations and by celebrating milestones in corporate worship we learn and grow in faith, passion for our God and love for one another. For when we remember we are re-membered.
In this section I have tried to connect family and congregational worship with celebrating milestones. I have written prayers, litanies, and blessings that can be used in family worship at home and in congregational worship. I have written Blessings, Litanies, and Worship Services that connect specific milestones (Family Reunions, Anniversary of a Ranch or Farm, Opening of Fishing Season, Opening of Pheasant and Bird Hunting Season, Back Country Horsemen, God & Country Weekend, Opening of Hockey Season, etc.) with God and the family of God to have fun remembering that our God continues to be active in our daily lives shaping our faith.