The pitfalls and rewards of worship on Mother’s Day are discussed elsewhere. We need only suggest caution here. Using the text for the week, we suggest a wide as possible approach to celebrating the day. Dorcas, or Tabitha in the text from Acts, was a nurturer, a caregiver in how she prepared clothing for many in her community. Her loss was significant for the church, which is why they approached Peter and asked, by not asking, for a miracle.
We all have received care in various ways. Today is a day to give honor to those who nurture. For some that is a mother; for others, it is a teacher or mentor or friend. Why not honor them all? Jesus redefined family roles. Why not accept this gift and give thanks for those who have mothered us and are doing so still?
Let this day be a day we remember how we are woven together as a community by the sharing of gifts and the offering of care. Let us celebrate the family that we have become and are becoming in Christ. We can sing about the family of God; we can pray for ways to grow closer and to reconcile where there is division and distrust. This is a call for the church to show the world that living with difference is not only possible but that it contributes to a more beautiful whole.
Call to Worship
Leader: See what love has been given to us, that we should be called children of God.
People: By this we know love, that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, and lived and died, that God’s love might be made plain among us.
Leader: Therefore, beloved, let us know love in word or in speech but in deed and in truth.
People: Because we love one another, we know that we have passed from death into life.
All: This is the victory that overcomes the world, through Jesus our risen Christ. Amen.
Ruth Duck, Bread for the Journey, Ruth Duck, ed., (Pilgrim Press, 1981), 44.
Prayer of Intercession
(inspired by Acts 9: 1-6)
Hear our prayer O God
as we hear your call
If only the world heard your voice as clearly as Paul
and recognized its truth and sharply
But as we do, and they have not
grant us the strength to be your voice in this world
So we pray for this world
so much violence and no solution;
so much that has been done rightly or wrongly;
and a fear and panic that no solution can be found
So for those who find prejudice a way of life we pray;
for those who are trapped and caught up we pray;
for those who have been displaced we pray;
and for those living with and making decisions we pray
For all forms of prejudice;
for folk who physically or emotionally build walls we pray
for those who live with an extreme view of religion
for those who are self-interested we pray
and for those who live a life beyond what is dehumanizing we pray
for those who are our family and friends we pray;
those who we know are ill and those recovering;
those who are lonely, anxious, confused, stressed we pray;
and for those who bring color back to life we pray
So be it
Written by Rev. Roddy Hamilton, Minister of New Kilpatrick Church. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website, https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship.
I cannot dance, O God, unless you lead me. If you wish me to leap joyfully, let me see you dance and sing. Then I will leap into love, and from love into knowledge, and from knowledge into the harvest – the sweetest fruit beyond human sense, and there I will stay with you, whirling.
Mechtild of Magdeburg, 1217-1282 CE, in Contemplative Invocations: Liturgies for Public Worship and Private Prayer, Lynn C. Bauman, ed, (Praxis, 2009), 95.