Whitefield Academy Blog
Corporate Worship: Starting the Day With Scripture
I am excited to share with you a much-loved daily practice at Whitefield Academy. Each morning the upper school students, faculty, and staff assemble together for corporate prayer, Bible reading, and singing. Considering the fact that time is precious, I would like to explain further why we believe this is an important part of our community’s day.
“To Know God Aright”
In order to “know God aright” we must be equipped to read the Bible well, which involves our humble listening, right understanding, and obedient response. These are practices. The Bible must become the filter through which we understand the world and our place in it. It must become our unwavering and trustworthy frame of reference as we maneuver through life. The Bible, which has always held a primary place at Whitefield, is, thus, our focus at the beginning of each day. Before we do anything else, before we read anything else, we declare together, through word and action, our purpose for being, which is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Our time together begins with prayer followed by Bible reading. Over the course of the year the passages we read will begin with the Old and then the New Testament, focusing on those chapters that help us to see clearly the unfolding Biblical Story. By reading the Bible in this way, by beginning with creation, moving to the fall, then to redemption, and finally to new creation, we are able to see that all the parts find their end in Christ and in God’s Kingdom. This encourages us to focus our attention on God the Creator and Redeemer, revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and then to our obedient response to the Good News.
Glorifying God Through Song
We respond each day by singing a Psalm or a hymn, using the Whitefield Psalter & Hymnal created by Dr. Schuler. During select chapel times, we will continue to learn to sing in four-part harmony. As we talk about the Transcendentals of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, we desire to exemplify beauty in how we sing. It is all too easy to get lost in the truth or goodness of a song, and forget about how we glorify God through the very act of singing. We will continue to take time to teach the parts, with the hope that as the year progresses, we will make an increasingly beautiful sound in praise to our God.
Finally, we close our time together with a benediction, a Latin word meaning “to speak well” or “to speak a good word.” In the benediction, our attention is drawn away from our sung response to God’s Word back to His Word, and to His promise to be with us always “even unto the ends of the earth.” We are sent into our day with a blessing rather than a command. A command might imply that we need to work to earn God’s favor, while the benediction assures us of God’s grace and blessing.
The Upper School meets Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings for a short time of prayer, Scripture reading, and singing. Thursday morning is Upper School chapel. On Friday mornings, the entire school meets together for Morning Assembly followed by Lower School chapel. Whitefield families are welcome to join! It is a truly beautiful thing to dedicate each day of learning to the glory of the Lord.