Here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, we just finished up a series on the First Letter of John. The final message in that series, “God Birthed Faith” can be found here. Our next couple of Sundays embrace new themes.
On May 13 we'll observing Mothers Day, honoring not just mothers, but all those called to the task of parenting (or indeed having parents... which includes us all!) Our service is being conducted by our Christian Education Team, excellently assisted by some of the younger members of the church. We'll be thinking about what a “Treasure” a family can be and sharing treasured memories of those who have nurtured our lives.
None of us could be the people we are, without the help of those who cared for us (often sacrificed for us) and passed onto us legacies of love, life and faith that have formed our characters. Some of us also carry the pain of relationships that weren't so good and the scars of those times when life really didn't work out. Those also are part of the legacy that formed our characters.
Some of us need healing. Other might need encouraging. Part of the treasure of belonging to a faith community is that we also discover the treasure of belonging to a God who sees us all as precious children and encourages us to take care of each other.
On Sunday May 20 we are celebrating a confirmation service for four of our young people. In our Presbyterian tradition, when children are baptized their parents make promises on their behalf, and parents, sponsors (godparents), family members and the community of faith, state that they will do what they can to bring them up in the ways of the Christian faith.
Confirmation is a time for the youth to say that they claim the journey of faith as their own and take on the responsibility of being full members of their church community. It's not a point of arrival, but another milestone in their discipleship journey. It has been a privilege for myself to share with them in classes and activities that have led them to this point.
This little blog will be taking a break for a couple of weeks as I have my own family celebrations to attend. My own daughter gave birth recently to a healthy baby boy... and this granddad is taking a few days out to get to know him and renew his acquaintance with his two year old sister. So in my own way... I will be celebrating a very special and personal Mother's Day.
The theme of this is all about family. The families into which we are born. The families of faith that we are invited to participate in. The wider family of humanity that scripture declares is nurtured and loved by the God who brought all things into being.
As the summer months approach and the days grow longer, take some time to be thankful for the many ways the treasures of family and relationships have blessed our lives. While acknowledging that things in families never run smoothly, we are who we are, and we, every day, have the opportunity to shape what we will yet become. While it is impossible to determine what life may bring our way, we decide how we will deal with it, embrace it and celebrate it!
As I go to spend a little time with my wider family and celebrate family I couldn't think of a better song on a Mothers Day theme than Lauren Alaina singing “Like My Mother Does...”
The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.