A Prayer for Mother’s Day

Each year, I am confronted with the challenge to find a way to honor Mother’s Day in worship.  This year, I am choosing to print the following prayer on cardstock and adhere one crayon to the card. Each worshiper will receive a card. Before we offer this prayer together, I will invite each person to contemplate whether to keep the card for him/herself or to offer the card as a gift to one who has mothered him or her.  Feel free to use this if it will help you and your congregation. I do ask that you give the following credit:  “Used with permission from the author Amy Persons Parkes © 2015”

Holy Light,
your attentive care for us
passes through the prism of this world
revealing the wide spectrum,
the variegated paths,
through which you color your image in us.

On this Mother’s Day,
we praise you for the delicate hues of compassion
cast upon us by nurturing mothers –
mothers who gave birth to us,
mothers who chose us,
women who became mothers we never had,
mothers to whom we gave ourselves as children.
We praise you for the whole vibrant pallet of motherhood which reflects your Light.

We give thanks for the blessed memory of mothers
who once gilded our every days
and whose eternal life in you now tints the heavens.

We pray for peace and forgiveness
to dye the hurtful interactions between mothers and children
rendering something new from an old and worn work.

We seek hope for the mourning mothers,
upon whose canvas the darker tones
of loss and grief have brushed.
With gentle strokes,
paint your comfort.

On this Mother’s Day, Holy Light,
color us all in,
outline and shade,
daub and dab,
until we reflect
a world awash
in your covenant promise.
In and through Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.

Amy Persons Parkes © 2015

Around that Table

Struan Bread Dec 08 001

I grew up going to Sunday dinner at my Grannie’s house.  Grannie was known for her hospitality; she always had an open door and food to be shared.  Sunday after Sunday my family gathered around an oval claw-footed oak table that easily seated fourteen of us at a time.  Grannie didn’t have much in the way of material items, but she always had enough china, glassware, and silverware cobbled together in mix and match settings to provide a place setting for everyone who came to her table.  Each one of us had our place at the table, and each one of us played a part in getting food prepared, setting out the dishes, calling people to the table, running to the store when we ran out of ice, and washing dishes.  We were a motley crew.  We were indifferent, delusional, mean-spirited, kind, outspoken, shy, beautiful, peacemaking, faithful, honest, and dishonest.  We were all these and much, much more.  We liked each other; we loved each other; we resented each other; we tolerated each other.  I believe we became a family around that table sustained by the rhythm, the ritual, the shared food, and Grannie’s intention that she would host us at her table.

When I imagine the intent of Jesus saying “do this in remembrance of me” as He blessed and passed the cup and broke the bread, I think Jesus was inviting us to continue to share a table with one another, to continue to open ourselves to God’s grace at work through the mystery of this meal, to continue to be reminded that in the sharing of the cup of His blood and in the breaking of his body we are healed.  I imagine that in Holy Communion Jesus is reminding us of the gift and pain we will experience through covenant community.  In the church, at the Table, some are Mary Magdalene; some are Peter; some are Judas.  We are all God’s children.  With as much humility as I can muster, in ministry I give myself over to the understanding that throughout my life, I have been and/or will be these three and more.  With as much love and compassion as I can muster in ministry, I yield my heart in the knowledge that we will all be these three and more.  However, we all have a deeper, more lasting identity that we claim each time we share Holy Communion.  We all belong to Christ.

Amy Persons Parkes © 2012