By Miriam Rossow

So it is a snow day and Wednesday evening church is cancelled. Besides now having to come up with a dinner there is no mid-week refresher. Wednesday evening Lent services can be so calming to my week. It gives me a little forgiveness in the middle of the week. I get some socialization in the middle of the week. Mid-week worship gives me a little Jesus in the middle of my week! And now I don’t get any of that because it is snowing again!

Have you ever thought of having a service at home? I know, I know I have the Pastor for a husband so it is ‘easy’ for us to have a service. Even without a pastor at your house you to can have a service with these few tips.

Think through what happens at our corporate services at church; often there is music as you walk in. So turn on your favorite Christian music and enjoy a few songs as you gather the family around to the couch.

You can sing along or just close your eyes and listen to the words. Because we are in lent I would suggest staying away from songs that include the word alleluia as we say goodbye to that word until Easter. Go back to Sunday’s play list and grab one of those songs.

During or after the song you can light a candle to remind you that God is with you and even say the invocation: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we begin. If you have little ones at home you can say, ‘We light this candle to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.’ 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we begin.

Now that everyone is gathered around grab a bible. If you have older children you can have them read or maybe share the reading between kids. Tonight in worship we would have been looking at John 18:15-27.

After reading the scripture take a closer look at the reading. What is the context? What came before or after the reading? What is happening during the reading? What is Jesus doing in this reading?

How does this affect my life? Am I being called to do something or change something in my life? Is there a word of strength or forgiveness in this passage?

After reading the scripture take a closer look at the reading.

Get everyone involved. Learn together with your children and other family members. For the first part of this reading you can take a look at the devotion for today; Backstage Pass.

At this point in the service you may want to sing another song like Amazing Grace or turn your CD or YouTube station back on.

You may want to skip the song and go right to pray. To start, begin with a pray that relates to what you learned together from the readings. Then you can add in prayers for family members, church members, people you know in the community, thanksgiving prayers. You can assign prayers to each family member.

Another option for prayer is to hold hands and let each person say whatever is placed on their heart. When they are done they squeeze the hand of the person next to them signalling that their turn is done. Then the next person starts. When the last person is done they end with Amen. You can all say the Lord’s Prayer together at the end.

You can all say the Lord’s Prayer together at the end.

Did you know you can even do a confession and absolution at home? Or in other words you can speak forgiveness to each other. Is there something specific you need to ask forgiveness for or that you need to forgive someone for. Talk and share about your week and those things that have hurt you. Then speak forgiveness to those people in your life.

You can speak forgiveness to each other.

At this point you can either sing another song or end the service with the benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you; The Lord be gracious to you; The Lord lift His countenance upon you and keep you safe. Amen.

You did it! You successfully had a service at home. I know it may not have gone exactly the way you imagined and maybe your insights were not quite as deep as you would have hoped. Remember that wherever two or three are gathered God promises to be there.

I do not suggest you completely scrap going to church. However church at home is a great option when you are sick or snowed in and now you have a template to do so when needed!

Remember wherever two or three are gathered God promises to be there.

Blessings on your worship at home as the family of Christ is separated tonight.