WORSHIP: God created a Sabbath day both as a day of rest and as a time dedicated to the honoring of God. In the weekly gathering with the community of believers we also discover and celebrate our participation in the body of Christ

For Devotions:

For Openers:

For Your Information:

Sabbath: A transliteration of the Hebrew word which means "cease, desist, rest." In context, it refers to the seventh day of the week (Friday eve to Saturday eve, according to Jewish reckoning) during which one was to cease from work and rest. The Biblical background for this observance is Genesis 2.2-3 where God "blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation."
Why do we worship on Sundays? According to the Gospels, it was early on the first day of the week (i.e., Sunday) that the women went to the tomb and discovered that Jesus had arisen. Christians, therefore, began to gather for worship on Sundays, and in time, the two days of worship became the weekend!

For Discussion:

  1. Genesis 2.2-3: Why did God choose or need to rest? What does this fact imply about us humans?
  2. In the passages studied in A-E above, what are some common themes regarding the Sabbath that underlie all of them?
  3. Why does God command us to take a Sabbath rest? Who is benefited by a Sabbath observance?
  4. When have you felt the most rested? What would be the best thing for you to do right now to get some rest? What obstacles are keeping you from getting the rest you need?
  5. What is the relationship between a Sabbath rest and worship?
  6. Micah 6.6-8: What is the connection between Sunday worship services and worshipping God throughout the rest of the week?
  7. John 4.19-24 and Colossians 3.16-17: How do these passages help us think about what is an appropriate worship style? Is "traditional" better than "contemporary/alternative"? What is the value of traditional elements? Of contemporary elements? What makes either of them genuine?
  8. What are the different postures (of body, head, hands, etc.) that you use during worship? What do they signify?
  9. Describe a time when a worship service was particularly meaningful for you. What was it in the service that made it significant?
  10. Is it okay to work on Sunday? To do shopping on Sunday? To put it another way, how can you observe the Sabbath in today’s society?

For Practice:

EXERCISE 1: Use the "Our Liturgical Heritage / The Church Year" exercise sheet. As you read through the information about the liturgy, comment on which parts of the service are most meaningful to them. As you read about the church year, describe emotions associated with each of the seasons. What are some of your favorite hymns or songs for each season?

EXERCISE 2: Retrieve some bulletins from the past Sunday’s service. Go through the service and describe what is happening at each point. What elements of worship do you find? What is the ‘rhythm’ and flow of the service? How do the various parts of the service connect?

EXERCISE 3: Compose a brief worship service, discussing the importance and reason for including some of the following elements: opening/Invocation, hymns/songs, prayer, Scripture reading, sermon/message, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, offering(!), Benediction, etc. Let each person in your group take a part and together close your group time with this worship.

Sabbath is an invitation to imagine our life differently.

Walter Brueggeman, Finally Comes the Poet, 97

For Later:

For Further Study:

Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee.

Saint Augustine