In ‘Presby-land’, we call this ‘Christian Family Sunday’. We will read together a passage from our contemporary Canadian statement of Christian faith, Living Faith, that speaks about the dynamics of our families, both of blood and of church, within the frameworks of God’s grace – have a look inside the Order of Service attached.
God knows, we need to remind ourselves that God not only ‘names’ these families of ours (Ephesians 3:14) but remains at work in them, sometimes with us and sometimes in spite of us, for healing and renewal, and, even in our failure, for new beginnings.
The tulips growing alongside the Manse remind me of the gospel promise that we are ‘being rooted and grounded in love’ – the tense is present! Whatever our family constellation, age or faith, God IS stretching and growing us for greater, deeper relationships. The sermon will pick up on the lyrics of Henry Ware in our Book of Praise – they begin ‘Happy the home’ and continue ‘when God is there’. The conditional nature of the phrase is not whether God is present in our homes, only whether we acknowledge God’s presence, and allow the calmness, generosity and forgiveness of Christian faith to shape our relationships.
Join us in prayer and praise this Sunday if you are in the area. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for children. There are also hearing-assist devices and an accessible washroom available.
A Prayer for this Week
O God our heavenly parent, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named; we trust to your loving care the members of our families, both near and far. Supply their needs, guide their footsteps; keep them in safety of body and soul; and may your peace rest upon our homes and upon our dear ones everywhere; through Jesus Christ our saviour. (after Frank Colquhoun)