I wrote this regarding Mother’s Day for our church bulletin.
Mother’s Day is a complicated day.
It all started with a woman named Anna Jarvis in 1907 as a way to remember her deceased mother. Just two years later and Jarvis was (unsuccessfully) campaigning to shut Mother’s Day down and stop it from happening again. Why the sudden about face?
Jarvis hated how commercialised the day had become in such a short time. That companies seized the opportunity to increase sales of flowers and greeting cards etc. For Jarvis, the true meaning of Mother’s Day, a day where love and appreciation was shown to the women who raised us, was replaced by a cheap cash grab.
Love it or hate it, Mother’s Day isn’t going anywhere. But the reason I think it’s complicated is not just because of ridiculously sappy greeting cards.
As a church, we want to affirm the role of mothers in our community. Mothers have been given a special role by God to love and nurture children. Mothers give us life and they keep us alive. As a father, I am very thankful for the blessing my wife has been to me and to my boys.
But not all women in our community are mothers. This may be their choice. Or it may be because their wants and desires to be a parent have not matched up with God’s plans for this world. A day celebrating motherhood can be difficult when you are not a mother. Or if you are a mother and your family life is filled with strife and conflict. Celebrating motherhood may be the last thing in the world that you want to do.
The reality is that things are not right in this world. The good world that God created, with everything in order and everyone in good relationship with each other has gone. This is the world we live in, where our lives are not what we want them to be. We long for something better. We long for Jesus to return and make things right. That day is coming. Until then, we wait.
For all our mothers today, we pray that you are looked after. That your family shows you how much they need you and love you. For our women who are not mothers, we pray that you will be looked after. That as a church we can show you how much we need you and love you. A church is not a random collection of strangers, but a family brought together by God to love and encourage each other as we wait for Jesus’ return.
Today, let’s be thankful for all the women in our church family and show them our love and appreciation.
At our church, we’re encouraging everyone to pick up their Bibles and read a small passage of Scripture each day. To help with this, we’re doing two things. Firstly, in the service sheet each week is a checklist with 5 Bible passages, one for each weekday. For example, in the first week of 2016 we’ll be starting with the book of Acts: Monday – Acts 1:1-11, Tuesday – Acts 1:12-26, Wednesday – Acts 2:1-13, Thursday – Acts 2:14-42, Friday – Acts 2:43-47.
Secondly, we’ve produced these bookmarks for our congregations to help them to find the passage and to read the passage. Something like this may be helpful for you or for your ministry.
Next week, people all over the world are going to be celebrating the birthday of a man who lived 2000 years ago. His name is Jesus. You might have heard of him. He’s kind of a big deal. We know so much about Jesus, but do we know what he looked like?
Yes and no. Read More…
Most days of the year, the best way to describe my office would be organised chaos. There’s stuff everywhere – mostly dumped there at the end of a long night of youth group or as I’m rushing from one event to the next. In those rare moments of quiet – when programs are wrapping up for the year and I feel like I can stop and take a breath, I get on top of the job of cleaning and organising my office. And in even rarer moments, I start thinking of how I can do the organising thing even better.
And that’s when I get ideas like the Youth Ministry Toolbox.
From the day I got my first smart phone, Glo Bible has been one of my favourite apps. Not only does it have a full text version of the Bible (which alone makes it a worthwhile app) but it’s chock full of extras like commentaries, maps, videos and dictionary articles. On top of that, the apps visual interface is a joy for a visual learner like myself. If you have an iOS device, Glo Bible is a must have app.
At least until the new version comes along early next year. The team behind Glo Bible are currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds to produce an even better app. I’m really excited about the new app and I’m really keen to check it out. I’ve signed on for the Glo Premium reward, which will give me the premium version of the app at a discount rate ($25 reduced from $40). Have a look at the campaign video and consider supporting this great project.