Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life.
Today is the fourth Sunday of the Easter season. We continue to celebrate the reality of the risen Christ in the midst of his people. Each year, the focus of today’s lessons on this fourth Sunday of Easter is Christ the Good Shepherd. Our lessons and some of our hymns today will reflect the theme of Christ the Good Shepherd.
Today is also the day celebrated as Mothers’ Day. So, happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, mothers-in-law, aunts, great aunts, big sisters, child care workers, early childhood teachers, pet carers, and other maternal individuals (of either gender) who are part of the congregation today. Morning tea will follow the service, and you are invited to stay and enjoy morning tea.On Mothers’ Day, we also remember with compassion those who are mourning the death of their mothers or their grandmothers.
As well, on Mothers’ Day, we also remember with compassion those whose experience of their parents was not one they remember with thanksgiving. We remember those whose childhood was marked by abuse or neglect, or those who grew up with the feeling that, in their families, every day was Mothers’ Day, or every day was Fathers’ Day. And, if that was your experience, we reach out to you this day as well.Today, we also celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion, rejoicing in the presence of the risen Christ who shares himself with us as food and drink. (The Uniting Church celebrates an open communion. All who seek to be fed from Christ’s table are encouraged to share in this sacrament, without exception.)
Therefore, let us worship God.
Our opening hymn is associated with one of the noted mothers in the Bible, Mary. It’s based on her hymn of praise in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel, the hymn we call the Magnificat, “Tell out my Soul, the greatness of the Lord.”