Worship is such a wonderful theme for December. The Christmas story is rife it. We see Mary and Joseph surrendering their will to the Lord God (worship). We see Shepherds exploding with proclamation and praise (worship). And last– but not least– we see Magi prostrate before a little child, laying down expensive gifts as tribute to a king. Christmas displays the width and depth of worship.
You have the joy of guiding your children into the ways of worship. You begin with modeling worship. Don’t hide your worship or make it so private that your children gain no wisdom from you. Bring them into your tithing and generosity. What is there about your home that reflects your reverence for God? Are there elements in your family life that help you to reinforce your acknowledgement of God in all things? (IE: praying before meals or at bedtime). When you engage in the service show them what it looks like to put away distractions and give praise to God. Show them that the gathering for worship is not about YOU but about HIM. Thus when you discipline your children you only expect from them what you demand of yourself. Making attendance at the Church service a regular habit is not about religion but about a disciplined giving of our first hours in the week to the Lord as our act of worship.
As you model and live it out with your kids you then look for opportunities to teach them. This month, as you work through the Christmas story, you have such amazing opportunities to enrich your child’s understanding of worship. Draw out discussion around the biblical stories they are unpacking in their Sunday class. Set it as your goal that your child will memorize Romans 12:1 and they will be able to verbally express a definition of worship. To that end you will need to enrich your own understanding of it. It’s both a noun and a verb. Defined informally as “acknowledging the worth-ship of God.” Here’s a couple of more formal defintions.
“show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites” (Oxford Dict.)
“Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission” (Webster's Dictionary, 1828)
Have fun with your kids this month and enjoy worshipping God together. For your inspiration I’m leaving you some amazing quotes from some great authors.
“Many Spirit-filled authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves. His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can’t contain Him. Isn’t it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?”—Francis Chan
“We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.”—G.K. Chesterton
“You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”—Augustine of Hippo
“Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.”—D.A. Carson
“Who will deny that true religion consists, in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart? That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless, wishes, raising us but a little above a state of indifference.”—Jonathan Edwards
“Put it this way: if your idea of God, if your idea of the salvation offered in Christ, is vague or remote, your idea of worship will be fuzzy and ill-formed. The closer you get to the truth, the clearer becomes the beauty, and the more you will find worship welling up within you. That’s why theology and worship belong together. The one isn’t just a headtrip; the other isn’t just emotion.”—N.T. Wright
“God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises ‘before the nations.’ We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them.”—Timothy J. Keller