Easter 4 Pastor's Message
“Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity” (Acts 9:36).
On this Mother’s Day weekend, we celebrate the faithful witness of all our moms, grandmas, great-grandmas, aunts, and other female caregivers and mentors in our lives who not only daily and lovingly care for us, but who also share with us through their words and through their actions the love of Jesus.
Parents, including both moms and dads, have a most important Godgiven calling and responsibility in their children’s lives. When a child is baptized, the presiding minister asks the child’s parents the following question --
“As you bring your children to receive the gift of baptism, you are entrusted with responsibilities: to live with them among God’s faithful people, bring them to the word of God and the holy supper, teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, place in their hands the holy scriptures, and nurture them in faith and prayer, so that your children may learn to trust God, proclaim Christ through word and deed, care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace. Do you promise to help your children grow in the Christian faith and life?” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 228).
In response, the parents answer, “I do,” thus making one of the most important promises they will ever make. Simply put, there is no better gift we can share with our children than the gift of faith in Jesus.
We share the gift of faith with our children when we are in worship with them every week, thus teaching them that the most important thing in our life is our relationship with Jesus. We share the gift of faith with our children when we pray with them before meals and before they go to bed. We share the gift of faith with our children when we make sure they are engaged in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Confirmation, and High School Youth Group. We share the gift of faith with our children when they see us living out our own faith in the relationships we share with others at church, at work, and in our community. We share the gift of faith with our children when they see our own faith influencing the decisions we make and guiding us through both the good and bad times in our lives. We share the gift of faith with our children when they see that our faith is REAL, making a REAL difference in how we live.
Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, and faith mentors here at St. John’s who day in and day out are sharing the gift of faith with the children God has entrusted to our care. It is the one gift our children need more than any other.
“O God, for saints and servants, those named and those unknown, In whom through all the ages your light of glory shone, We offer glad thanksgiving and fervent prayer we raise That, faithful in your service, our lives may sing your praise” (ELW #419).