Acts 11:1-18 Acceptance of Gentile Christians
Psalm 148 Praise the Lord! ... from the heavens ... from the earth
Revelation 21:1-6 A new heaven and a new earth
John 13:31-35 A new commandment, that you love one another
13 Let all the world in every corner sing
75 O love of God, how strong and true
84 Glory be to God the Father
148 Love divine, all loves excelling
360 Give me the wings of faith to rise
565 Feed us now, O Son of God
571 A new commandment I give unto you
For Home and Family (Mother's Day)
77 For the beauty of the earth
114 Thank you for giving us the morning
118 Our God, we know your providence
237 Once in royal David's city
365 Jesus, united by thy grace
495 Happy the home that welcomes you, Lord Jesus
The new commandment that Jesus gave his disciples as he went out from the Last Supper is a clear requirement of discipleship for all followers of Jesus: I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. (John 13:34) The kind of love with which we are to love one another is then the kind of love with which Jesus loved his disciples.
Jesus indeed called the disciples his friends in his farewell that same evening (John 15:14-15). And we know that Jesus spoke at the same time of showing them the love of his Father, (John 14:7). He also referred to his disciples as his brothers (John 20:7), and identified himself with people who are hungry or thirsty or naked or a stranger or in prison as feeling what was done to them, the least of these my brothers, as done to himself (Matthew 25:40). Does Jesus show "motherly love", and thus reveal the love of God as like the love of a mother as way in which God loves us.
Jesus at times pointed us away from relying too much on the relationships developed in our natural families. (Mark 3:33-35; Luke 14:26), although he did reinforce the Jewish law about honouring your father and mother (eg. Mark 10:19) Yet it is still true that beside honouring our parents Jesus gave us an example of motherly love.
We travelled with Jesus to Jerusalem and remembered his lament over the city ....I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! -- Luke 13:34 That is a motherly image of nurture.
Did Jesus show us the motherly nature of God? Is it scriptural to speak of God being like a mother to us, as well as like a father? There are plenty of examples of it scattered through the Bible. (Eg. Deuteronomy 32:18; Isaiah 42:14; 66:13; 66:13; 49:15). So the love with which we are called to love one another includes the motherly kind of love, for we are to love in the way that he loved us. The importance of Mary in the gospel record and in the church, further heightens the examples of motherly love, along with the love of friends, fathers, brothers and sisters, although, as we have seen, Mary had to learn that the kind of love she had for her son could not limit him. The main point however is that loyalty to Jesus transcends family loyalty, just as we are called to show the same kind of love beyond our families and nations, even to our enemies.
Jesus not only gave us examples from family life of how we should love. He commanded us. Maundy Thursday is derived from the "command" (mandatum) in the text of the new commandment associated with the washing of the disciples feet.
We love because of what God did for us in Christ.
And we are called to love one another, as, or in the way that, Christ loved
us. Not as an investment, not to gain something is exchange. (Cf Luke
6:32). God's love is different (Romans 5:8). His
unselfish love was sacrificial, and he spoke the words giving the new commandment
on the night when he was preparing to die. But today in the Easter season
we celebrate his glory (John 13:31), the glory due to him
who liberated us from bondage to limited
human loyalties, in the way we love one another.
The Gathering of the People of God
CALL TO WORSHIP
Grace to you and peace, from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let
us worship God.
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.}
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike, old and young together!
L et them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. (Psalm 148:1-5,11-13)
HYMN 77 For the beauty of the earth
PRAYER OF ADORATION
O God, we confess the blindness that is not even aware
the pride that dares not admit that it is wrong;
the selfishness that can see nothing but its own will;
the righteousness that knows no fault;
the callousness that has ceased to care;
the defiance that does not regret its own sins;
the evasion that always tries to make excuses;
the coldness of heart that is too hardened to repent.
God, we are sinners; be merciful to us.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died
for us. -- Romans 5:8
Hear then Christ's word of grace: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God
DOXOLOGY Hymn 84 Glory be to God the Father [verses 1 and 2]
WELCOME AND GREETING EACH OTHER
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,
and also with you.
Service of the Word
INTRODUCTION OF THEME: You ought also to love one another: God's love and
A word to the children, relating the Mother's Day theme to God's love of us -- like a mother and a father.
FIRST READING Acts 11:1-18 Acceptance of Gentile Christians
PSALM 148 Praise the Lord!
NEW TESTAMENT Revelation 21:1-6 A new heaven and a new earth
GOSPEL John 13:31-35 A new commandment, that you love one another
HYMN 237 Once in royal David's city
HYMN 571 A new commandment I give unto you
OFFERING AND DEDICATION
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Together with local needs and general prayers for the church and the world]:- For Families
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, whose Son
Jesus Christ shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home:
bless our homes, we pray. Help parents to impart the knowledge of you and your love; and children to respond with love and obedience. May our homes be blessed with peace and joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[From Uniting in Worship]
COLLECT FOR THE DAY
THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]
The Sending Forth of the People of God
HYMN 148 Love divine, all loves excelling
WORD OF MISSION
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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