Lesson 1-The Synagogue
What is a synagogue?
The word synagogue means “gathering around.” The synagogue was a place of worship where the men would gather around the Rabbi (teacher). They would listen to the Word of God, then take the Word they had learned home to teach to their families. Therefore, the synagogue was a gathering around God’s Word.
What does the synagogue have to do with our worship?
The first part of our service (Invocation through Prayers) was structured like the synagogue service. That portion of our worship is our gathering around the Word of God that we might be instructed by God. When we participate in this portion of the service, we are gathering around the Word as other believers have for thousands of years.
What does the Bible say about synagogues?
Luke 4:14-30 - Jesus announces that He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to send the Messiah in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth.
Acts - Paul begins his ministry in each new town by preaching in the synagogue.
Revelation 2:9-11 - Jesus makes a distinction between His church and those of the Jewish faith by calling the Jews the synagogue of Satan and His church those who are faithful.
Gather around the Word with your family at home. This is one of the major functions of the synagogue; to equip the father to teach the children. This will help the whole family to see that family life is an extension of our worship as we receive Jesus’ grace and respond with prayer, praise and confession of faith. You may want to use the following hymns from Lutheran Service Book: 649, 676, 677, 904
Put the bible in the middle of the table or floor. Gather around it. Teach your children that God’s people have gathered around His Word for thousands of years. Then tell them that the first part of our Sunday service is a gathering around God’s Word just like people have done for all those years.
Lord, gather us around Your Word at church and in our homes. Help us to hear Your Word and rejoice in the forgiveness, life, hope, joy and peace we find there. In Jesus’ name. Amen.