Those who teach children should read study #108 for children.
Background. Israel’s first high priest was Aaron, Moses’ brother. Aaron offered sacrifices to God because of the sins of the people. He sacrificed sheep and other ‘clean’ animals that God approved as food, males without blemish. He slit their throats and burned them to make atonement for sins. Today, Jesus is our ‘Lamb of God’. He is without blemish of sin, and He was slain to atone for our sins.
Jewish high priest
Learn seven basic elements of worship
Nearly all congregations practice these seven common worship activities. They may do them in different ways and in a different order from yours. Some do them weekly, others less often.
1. Praise and give thanks
3. Learn the Word
5. Confess our sins and be assured of God’s forgiveness,
6. Break bread (the Lord’s Supper)
7. Enjoy fellowship.
· Which worship activity did Jesus command in Luke 6:38?
· Which did Abraham do in Genesis 18:20-33?
· David in 2 Samuel 22:47?
· The Israelites in Nehemiah 8:1-3?
· The Israelites in Nehemiah 9:2?
· Which activity is illustrated in Exodus 12:1-14?
· Which do you find in Psalm 133?
[Answers: 1) Give, 2) Pray, 3) Praise, 4) The Word, 5) Confess sins, 6) Lord’s Supper, 7) Fellowship.]
God’s people have practiced these worship activities throughout the centuries.
· The Old Testament Jews practiced them, in their synagogues before Jesus came into the world.
· Jesus and the Holy Spirit gave them deeper meaning in the New Testament.
· The apostle’s teaching focused on Jesus’ sacrificial death and life-giving resurrection.
· Christians have always practiced these activities, starting at the Jerusalem congregation in Acts 2.
· Throughout history, congregations that have followed these God-given forms of worship survived and multiplied even when they were persecuted.
· Congregations that neglect these activities crumble or die when men attack them or offer false teaching.
· Some churches do these things in a formal ‘liturgical’ way, with robes, incense and chants. Others do them in a ‘free’ way.
· In Scripture, people praise God with song, dance, standing, raised hands, clapping, kneeling, lying face down, silently, noisily, with testimonies, drama, symbols, chants and sacrifices. God does not care about the external form, as long as we worship him from the heart.
· Most congregations read or sing Psalms to begin praising God. You may read verses that focus on God and honor Him for His deeds, power, justice, love, kindness, faithfulness and holiness.
· Here are some verses in the Book of Psalms that Help us to Praise God:
Select activities that fit your congregation’s needs.
· Invite new people to a meal after the worship.
· Ask children to help present a dramas, even those who do not yet attend congregational worship meetings.
· Prepare a banner with words of worship to display at meetings.
· Pray and praise God in homes of friends who do not yet attend congregational worship meetings.
Select activities that fit the occasion and local customs.
· Pray and praise God, reading or singing verses of one of the Psalms.
· Ask for testimonies and reports of work done last week.
Demonstrate what worship was like before Jesus came into the world:
· Explain that you will demonstrate Old Testament worship.
· Ask a helper to go outside with you. When you come back in, he is a sheep, crawling on hands and knees and crying ‘baa.’ Act like you are pulling him with a rope.
Ask “Aaron” (anyone)
to sharpen his knife, prepare the fire and tie the sheep on the altar.
Aaron’s help, place the sheep face down on a chair.
· Lay your hands on its head and say, “I confess my sins and those of my family!”
Tell Aaron to
slit its throat. When he pretends to do so, shout that blood is
over you; shake it off your hands and shout: “Oh! Blood, flies,
“Hear the bleating of the frightened animals!”
“Smell the blood and the manure!”
“The smoke gets in your eyes!”
Ask the people: “Was this worship?” (Let them reply.)
“It was shocking and repugnant! Why? Our sins are shocking and repugnant to the most holy God. This has not changed. God still requires the blood of an innocent victim, to cover our sins.”
Ask: “Why do we not take a sheep now to our meetings?” Let the believers reply. If they fail to answer correctly, explain in your own words: “Jesus is the eternal Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. We participate in the body and blood of the innocent, holy Lamb of God when we partake of the bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper, as 1 Corinthians 10:16 reveals.
Ask the children to present the drama that they practiced, and ask the adults prepared questions about it.
To introduce the Lord’s Supper, tell the story of the man who came to a King’s wedding feast without proper clothes (Matthew 22:1-14). The special clothing symbolizes that God covers us believers with His holiness. We wear God’s covering whenever we confess our sins and receive His forgiveness. We should do so before we eat the Lord’s Supper. Taking communion also looks forward to the great feast when we, God’s people, are to be wedded to Christ for all eternity.
Memorize John 4:24.
Announce the activities that you planned to do during the week.
Help one another in groups of two or three. Let them pray, confirm their plans and encourage one another.