Scripture: Psalm 148
Key verses: (11-13)
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
Reflection: How did you learn to worship? Did you read about it in a book? Did you have a teacher instruct you in praise and prayer? Or did you learn about worship while worshiping? I am guessing mostly the latter. When I think about how I learned to worship God, I don’t recall much instruction about it. Lessons where we got gold stars for memorizing the Lord’s Prayer stand out, because who doesn’t like a gold star? But most of my experience with the Lord’s Prayer comes from saying it over and over again in worship, just as most of my memories about worship come from actually worshiping.
From a young age my sisters and I were in worship in our childhood church. As I grew, my interest in what was happening changed and grew too. All the while I was observing and overhearing and participating in my own way. I knew that worship mattered, because I saw it matter to my parents and the other people in my home church. I learned the songs, the rituals, and the stories of Jesus because I was there when they were being shared together.
This summer in Celebrate worship we are experimenting with a Pray Ground for very young children and their parents. It is a designated space up front in worship where young ones ages three and under can have a space designed for them, with seating next to it for their parents. Our childcare and nursery for infants through age 5 is still always available. But we’ve noticed a number of families and their very young children coming to Celebrate. They have tended to congregate in the back of the worship space where the children can’t see or hear. They can’t see the band. They don’t engage with the sacraments, or the readers and liturgists. In order for them to begin to learn to worship, we are inviting them up front. As we figure out how best to be welcoming in worship to all God’s children, of every age, we invite you to join us — young men and women alike, old and young together, as we praise the name of the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, you are the Creator of all that is, and all people. Thank you for those who have taught us to worship. Thank you for those who welcome us in worship. Help us make space for others to worship you too. In the name of Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].