Sunday Morning Worship
When we worship at Willowdale, we expect to experience Jesus so that we can embody him to the world around us.
We base our expectation of experiencing Jesus on a story from the Gospel of Luke that describes Jesus encountering his followers on the first Easter. In Luke 24:13-35, we read that on the first Easter, before the good news of Jesus’ resurrection had spread, two of Jesus’ followers were on a road to their home in a town called Emmaus. As they walked and talked, Jesus came alongside them, but the disciples did not recognize him. Jesus asked, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” (Luke 24:17). When one of them explains that they are talking about Jesus, and how sad they felt about his crucifixion, Jesus begins to teach them about himself from the Scriptures. Then, when they reached the disciples’ home, Jesus breaks bread with them at their table, and their eyes are opened to recognize him as their risen Lord. The disciples then rush back to their friends in Jerusalem and explain that Jesus “was known to them in the breaking of the bread.” (Luke 24:35)
In the Bible, to know the Lord means to experience the Lord. And on Sunday mornings at Willowdale, we experience the Lord Jesus, as he carries out for us the three actions he carried out on the road to Emmaus. First, Jesus comes alongside us because he cares about us. Then Jesus teaches us from the Scriptures. And then Jesus makes himself known to us in the breaking of the bread. Jesus comes alongside us, by prompting us to gather for worship. Jesus teaches us from the Scriptures during our Scripture reading and sermon. Jesus makes himself known to us as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, which we do every week. Having experienced Jesus in this “Emmaus Road Worship,” we then heed Jesus’ call to embody his love and justice to the world.
For us at Willowdale, nothing matters more than our weekly experience of Jesus in worship. We hope you can sense Jesus’ Spirit prompting your spirit to experience Jesus with us.
After our morning worship at Willowdale, some of us gather in small groups for additional learning. We call this time “Discipleship Time,” and it takes a variety of forms. We have a Junior Youth class composed of children from Grades 5-8. We also have a Senior Youth class for students in High School. And we have adult learning experiences that take different forms at different times. Sometimes an adult class will study the Psalms or another biblical book. Other times an adult class will have dialogues concerning worship, healing, or other topics that matter. The youth meet from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm. The adults meet from 11:45 am to 1 pm.