Happy Mother’s Day! For this Fifth Sunday of Easter, I have recorded a service of Morning Prayer. You may join me for worship by clicking on the link below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkTLzvZa_4k
I have also included a written reflect for this morning; and Leah Springford has provided our Prayers of the People for today. As we continue on in this Holy Season of Easter, I pray we may do so fully in the hope of the Resurrection – New Way! New Life! Thanks be to God!
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:1-2
It is beautiful that Jesus anticipates that what we will face in this life, as his believers, will likely be troubling. Each and every one of us can name a lot of things that are weighing on our hearts these days. Our hearts may be weighed heavy with concerns for the elderly, especially those who live in nursing homes. Our hearts may be troubled by a future that is unknown. Our hearts may be burdened with grief – especially for our mothers who have passed on. Or maybe our hearts are filled with increasing little worries that feel overwhelming. Small things and really big things tend to pile up and deeply affect us and the choices we make. These troubling challenges can disturb our relationships. Since all grief is connected, they can shake loose other griefs and sadness in our lives – some of which had been buried for a long time.
Often these troubling feelings challenge our faith as well. At the very least, our sadness can make it difficult for us to hear the Good News Jesus’ resurrection brings us; especially now, in these most troubling of times.
Jesus invites us to have faith in God and in him. He doesn’t say that lightly. He knows. He understands what we are facing. Because he knows and understands, he knows that we need what he has won for us. We might be tempted to fight it off or to resist it in some way. Our sadness can become our home, our dwelling place; and, at times, it can become our identity. We can even diminish our ability to perceive the gift by saying, “He’s offering me nothing in this world; only future happiness. I’m overwhelmed now!”
Jesus is offering us a peace nothing else can offer us. One of the Lenten prayers says that God’s graces allow us to live in this passing world with our hearts set on the world that will never end.
How does eternal life offer us a peace and strength now, when so many of us need it most? Today we are invited to take heart in the comfort and reassurance of Jesus. Our Gospel for today offers us a vision of the rest of the story – the whole story. When we believe that death – in all its forms – is just a scarecrow, then we grow in courage. We grow in courage, not only to face huge challenges and tremendous losses in this life, but so that we can embrace a courage enables us to continually grow and be and become the authentic human being that we are each created to be – and to become.
Our problems don’t go away. The pain of the pandemic is still there. Our worries have not ceased. Our grief for those who we love, but who we see no longer is still there. The discouraging and sometimes disappointing reality we must face is still a reality. What changes is the meaning it all has. All the troubles that fill our hearts will be removed by the healing transformation that comes from Jesus’ death and resurrection. We need to open our hearts and put our trust in Christ Jesus. Then the picture, the context of it all, becomes so much bigger. We have hope. Death can be redeemed. All deaths. All losses. All disappointments. All fears. All sickness. All sin.
Jesus has prepared a place for us to celebrate together for all eternity. We can ask for the grace these days to let our hearts be open to the Good News, to be transformed by its joy, and to share this faith with the world. Then and only then, can we begin to feel and look like resurrection people, who know the meaning and the outcome of our life in Jesus. Alleluia!
The Prayers of the People – provided by Leah Springford
Empowered by the Lord’s promise that he will do whatever we ask in his name, let us pray.
We pray for the church and its leaders; our Bishops, Justin, Linda, Anne, Peter and our Incumbent Elizabeth. We pray for our sister parishes in Mexico. Let us pray that our lives may be for the glory of God and that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We pray for our world ravaged by COVID 19. Bless the leaders of our world and grant them grace to work for the common good.
We pray and give thanks to God for the Ministries at All Saints,
Today we especially pray for: our Telephone Ministry
We pray and give thanks for members of our parish family: Ian & Diana Armitage and their family, Bernard & Vivian Aschwanden and Noah Viitala, Gladys and Kemi Atawo, Peggy Belcher, Rosemary Bellefontaine.
We pray for mothers, for those we love on earth and those we see no more.
We pray for those who are ill or suffering any kind of affliction: Rosemary, George, Joyce
Michael, Nina, Katherine, Bill Harris, Diane McDowell, Elizabeth, Nancy Watt, Barb, Ian,
John Clarke, Adele Watkins, Tanya Rose, Maria Braga, Nancy Bell, Irene, Sean, Andrea Spence, Walker, Elizabeth, Sheilagh, Jaye, Diane, June, Cynthia, David, Brenda and Karen.
We pray that they may find support through our prayer.
We pray for the departed who have come to the place which Christ has prepared for them.
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, we bring these and all our needs to you, filled with confidence in the power of Jesus’ name. Hear us and answer our prayers in your great wisdom and love.