Preparing for Worship – Doug Haney, associate pastor.
How might we best prepare for the worship of the Lord on this second Sunday of Advent?
Whether we are a household of one or several, there are steps to consider before you turn on the device that will enable you to watch and worship well today.
After months of watching worship online, you are likely adept at finding the right link to worship on Wilshire’s website or on YouTube. And yet technology can be finicky. Internet connections intermittent. If you actually watch the premiere at 8:30 a.m., plan to connect with your devices about 10 minutes before you start. There is nothing more frustrating than being ready to watch the opening moments of worship, the chiming of the hour — and finding that your router needs to be turned off and back on or your laptop needs to be plugged in because the battery is low. Get connected early.
Lori and I now are grandparents to three grandsons six and under; our little guys are only quiet when they are asleep. I imagine it’s challenging for parents of preschoolers to participate. Whatever else happens, I hope you and your children will purchase or make an Advent wreath you can place in the room where you watch worship, light the candles along with the family onscreen and read the litany together. The response line for everyone to read is specifically chosen to be brief and repetitive so even the youngest child may participate.
The response song after the lighting of the Advent wreath is found in our Celebrating Grace hymnal and is by written Randy Edwards. Randy is a minister of music at Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio; Garrett Vickrey, George and Kim’s son-in-law, is pastor there. Randy is a gifted musician and the founder of YouthCue, a ministry that supports the work of church youth choirs. Listen to the introduction as I play the melody once through on the piano. Each week I will sing it twice. You may want to listen as I sing the first time and then join me on the repeat. We will use this throughout the season of Advent, so hopefully you will find this lovely melody easy to learn and easy to sing.
Whether you view worship at 8:30 a.m. or 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, whether you are alone, surrounded by chattering children or sitting quietly with your partner, make some time to worship, to find the time and space to connect to God and to imagine the people of Wilshire who are sharing these holy moments.
Happy Advent, Wilshire!