The Motherly Love of the Creator (Bob Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Christian Family Sunday      10:00 am      May 08, 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering  as a Worshipping Community
Led by the Rev. Bob Calder
Children’s Time: the Rev. Bob Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia     Vocalist: Vivian Houg
Elder: Gina Kottke

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you
P: and also with you

Lighting of the Christ candle
Welcome and announcements
Silent preparation for worship

Opening words

L: God gathers us for worship,
P: like a mother hen gathers her brood under her wings.
L: Our God, loving, nurturing.
P: In love, God saves and supports us,
L: teaching us the way we should go.
P: Trusting in God,
L: we continually offer our praise!

Opening praise: Holy is the Lord

Call to worship

L: Jesus said, “Come!”
P: To all mothers and all children: he said, “Come!”
L: to the motherless and the childless: he said, “Come!”
P: to all who long to be mothered: he said, “Come!”
L: We are the people of God.
P: Together we are a family
L: Let us worship God together as a family

Prayers of approach and lament

Father of us all, Mother of each one,
thank you for your love for us from the beginning of time.
Your devotion  to us has not failed,
your care has followed us our whole life long.
All we are and all we have, we owe to you,
and so we give honour to you with our hearts and hands and voices.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

When we forget about You have mercy.

When we fail to speak words of love, forgive us.

When we neglect the need of others help us to correct this.
Loving God,help us to recognize Your presence and nearness with us as we worship together.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Response: I will trust in the Lord

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

We are God’s children, called to be different, to act differently, called to live as new people. With faith in Christ we are forgiven.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Gradual: Open our eyes, Lord  (445)

Story: When life is in pieces, God is always with us.


The Lord’s Prayer (535)

Transition music

Song: Who made the earth vss 1,2,5,6 (339)

Today’s Message

Scripture readings: Isaiah 49:13-18                   NT(NRSV)

Response: Thy word is a lamp

Homily: “The Motherly love of our Creator”

A teacher gave her class of  grade 2’s a lesson on the magnet and what it does.

The next day in a written test, she included this question:

“My full name has six letters.

The first one is M, and I pick up things.

What am I?”

When the tests were all in, the teacher was astounded to find that almost fifty percent had written in, “mother”.

Two young children presented their mom with a house plant for mother’s day.

The older said with a sad face, “There was a bouquet we wanted to give you at the flower shop.

It was really pretty, but it was too expensive.

It had a ribbon on it that said, ‘Rest in Peace,’ and we thought you would like it since your always asking for a little peace and quiet so you can rest.”

Mothers are special people who face particular challenges.

Mothers would like to be able to eat a whole chocolate bar (all by themselves) and drink a Coke without any “floaters” in it.

They wish they could have a telephone conversation without having to stop and breakup a squabble.

Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably going to end up in the sandbox and at some point they’ll find crayon scribbles on the wall instead of in the colouring book.

Mothers know that dried play dough doesn’t come out of carpets and gum doesn’t come out of hair.

Mothers often have sticky floors, dirty ovens, dusty furniture and finger prints on windows but they put up with it because they want happy kids.

Mothers sometimes ask “Why me?” and get their answer when a little voice says, “I love you Mommy.”

Mothers know that a child’s growth is not measured by height or years or grade.

It is marked by the progression of Mama to Mom to Mother to Grandma to great-Grandma.

Mothers are an integral part of our lives. We wouldn’t be who we are without them.

A Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere so he made mothers.”

Mothers are teachers, guidance counsellors and coaches.

Mothers are cooks, chauffeurs and cleaners.

Mothers are developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies, and sharpeners of attitudes.

Mothers are soft voices saying, “I love you” and firm voices saying, “Smarten up”.

Mothers are a link to God, a child’s first impression of God’s love.  It is a love that goes through the valley of the shadow of death to bring life into being. It is a love that sacrifices itself over and over again and would even dare to lay down its life for its own offspring or for some other needy child.

We can all give thanks to God for mothers, grandmothers and those women who have nurtured us.

While God does not ordain that every woman should  give birth, all women can have a unique and crucial role in the lives of children.

My favourite aunt was 94 years old when she passed away.

She never married; never had children.

But she always played an important role in the family and was loved by her niece and many nephews and their children.

I would talk to her several times a year and she was always keen to know how every member of the family was doing, specifically asking about them by name.

Aunty Barb was always  a source of support and encouragement in my life.

Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, then feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, young adults, and even old adults with children of their own.

While the role of motherhood changes and develops, their love, care, nurture, and encouragement are still needed.

Nothing is safer in various situations than appealing to a mother’s love and to the caring instinct.

The prophet Isaiah did this very thing.

He appealed to a mother’s love to offer encouragement to his people.

Isaiah had previously warned the people of Judah about the imminent Babylonian captivity, going so far as to offer words of comfort to them before they were  conquered in 586 BC.  ow, to comfort them in their time of captivity, he offers the words and metaphor that we read in our O.T. lesson.

One author has suggested that “This is one of the strongest, if not the strongest expression of God’s love in the Old Testament, and is often compared with Jeremiah 31:20.” which states: “Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him, declares the Lord.”

The mothering metaphor is captivating especially since we tend to think of God as male.

The passage in Isaiah speaks of how the child is born and given nourishment by its mother.

Isaiah’s rhetorical questions imply not only the physical caring of a child, but the emotional intensity that bonds a mother to her offspring.

Simply having children does not make a wonderful mother.

Giving birth to a child is basically a biological function.

This passage speaks of something more than the physical.

Being a mother is an act of the heart.  God is telling His people metaphorically how intense He is about His relationship with them.

He’s saying to them, “I will sustain you.

I will not forget you.

I will nourish you even in your time of discipline.”

Isaiah 49:14 begins, “But Zion said…”.

The nation of Israel is personified as a city – a way to emphasize their distinct identity.

Knowing that their identity was being threatened God answers their argument before they can even make it.

And what was this argument?,

‘The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’

God had promised a very special relationship with Israel, which they assumed would lead to success and prosperity, not opposition and captivity.

They never thought they would be conquered by other nations.

But their disobedience led to discipline.

In this time of discipline, their feelings of abandonment had to be dealt with.

Have you ever felt abandoned and forgotten?

I think that most of us have at one time or another.

One of the greatest fears that people have is being completely alone, alienated from family and even God.

The fact is, there are intense moments in life when God can seem very far away.

To address that fear, Isaiah asks two rhetorical questions to which the answer is implied:

In vs 15 we read: Can a mother forget the baby at her breast?

The answer to that is of course “No way!”

The other question is: Could she have no compassion on the child she has borne?

“Not a chance!”

Even if by some sad turn mothers were to forget, God states very clearly “…I will not forget you!”.

No matter how alone we may feel, God is always with us.

He is there when skies are overcast.

He is there when the storm clouds release their wrath.

Let’s never forget that He is with us in the sunshine as well as the rain.

He will have compassion on us.

He may not take the trial away.

In all likelihood, we will still have to go thru a time of struggle and perhaps even suffering but the Lord will still be there with us.

He will never forget us.
God says in vs 16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”

In Isaiah’s day, some servants inscribed the names of their masters on their hands, but masters did not write the names of their servants on their hands.

Yet God had engraved the name of Zion on His palms so He would not forget her but be reminded of her frequently.

The names of the tribes of Israel were engraved on stones and fastened to the ephod of the high priest as a memorial before the Lord.

This also alludes to the old fashioned custom of a person tieing a string around their finger to keep at the forefront of their mind something that they were likely to forget.

It also could refer to the wearing of a significant ring or locket around a person’s neck in remembrance of a special person.

God remembers us and our well being.

God then comments in vs 16, “…your walls are ever before me.”

The skyline of the city was constantly in His thoughts.

He is thinking, “Seeing you, your city, and your sense of identity rebuilt is constantly on my agenda”

Jerusalem’s walls, whether in ruins as they were right then or as they will be in their future glory, are very important to God.

In the same way, no matter how much of a shambles our lives may be in, God, with His motherly love, is still there for us.

We notice that God says He wants the city rebuilt.

This is what He wants for our lives as well.

If a person’s life is lying in ruins, God wants to see it rebuilt.

Of course that takes a lot of time and effort, just as it takes time to rebuild a city,

Jesus will help us rebuild, slowly but surely.

We tend to think of individuals as composing society, but the Hebrews thought of the society as preceding and “mothering” the individual.

They believed it was the city rather than the individuals within the city that was loved by God.

When their city is destroyed the people think of themselves as orphans.

By rebuilding the city, the people then not only have a home but also status.

Without the city of Jerusalem, the people of Israel felt forgotten by God.

We can be thankful that today God loves us as individuals rather than as part of a city.

It’s amazing that whenever God describes the nature of his relationship with his people he always speaks of it by comparing it to the most intense relationships that human beings have with one another.

Did you ever notice that God never compares this relationship to a business partnership or a casual acquaintance?

God is always our Father, Mother, or Friend who is closer than a brother and who lays down his life for us.

God says, “Even if mothers are neglectful or absent, I am not, I could never forget you!”

And God didn’t forget them.

He brought them back into their land of blessing and eventually sent them a Messiah who loved them so much that Matthew describes Him as a mother hen who wanted to gather His people under His wings (Matt.23).

In order to accomplish this he paid the ultimate price for their sin and ours.

The good news about this passage in Isaiah is that when we feel forgotten and forsaken we find comfort, not necessarily from a mother, but from a God who will not fail to care for or remember us –– even when the whole world is turned upside down and the best human mother runs out of maternal compassion.In this, Israel could find comfort and faith that she would be preserved through her Babylonian exile and would return to the land God had promised her.

We can find comfort that God, like a mother, will safeguard us through our exiles and return us to the joy of his blessing.

Today, as we celebrate mothers’ love, let’s also remember the motherly love of our Creator!

Song: O for a world (730)

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

We thank you Lord for those who have watched over us,
for those that have protected us,
for those that have shielded us.

For the roof that shades us from the sun,
for the walls that shield us from the storm,
for the bed that warms us in the night,

we give you thanks and praise, O Lord.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Response: Give thanks to the Lord (instrumental)

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully since the beginning of the pandemic and we are committed to continuing the ministry and mission that define Dayspring – using the various ways described on the screen and in Dayspring Weekly News. Thank you all for your support of our shared vision and mission. For those in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelopes with you, simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service today.

Transition Music: Be still and know that I am God

Prayer for others and ourselves

Loving God, it is you who gave life and breath to everyone in our world, and in you alone can we find life, breath and meaning for ourselves and our world.

We pray for those who have been blessed with an awareness of your mothering care, who have looked to you for guidance and nurture, we give you thanks, and we pray that you would unite us within your family to be a nurturing influence on others, that they too may enjoy life within your family.

For those who hunger and thirst, who are lost and alone, who yearn to be given new direction, new hope and new life, we pray that you would care for them. May we be seen and known as your faithful children. Help us to uphold your name by acting, as Jesus did, in faithfulness and trust in you.

Under the shadow of your wings we find our refuge. In your gentle care we find our home.

O God with a mother’s heart,

You gather us as your children.

You comfort and hold us in your warm embrace.

When we hurt, your arms enfold us.

When we are afraid, your wings protect us.

When we are hungry, you feed us with the bread of life.

You have a mother’s heart,

Your love surrounds and supports us,

In good times and in tough,

In the midst of joy and pain,

Always and everywhere.

You will never leave nor abandon us.

We thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family.

This morning we  especially remember those who have serious illnesses. Hold their hands as they travel the difficult paths of pain, debilitation, and possible death.

We remember their families and the care-givers who need your supporting grace.

We pray for the situation in Ukraine that cool heads will prevail and peace will be forthcoming soon.

Hear us now as we come before your throne of grace and love in a moment of silent prayer.

May the Holy Spirit touch all of us this morning. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Master, and Lord. Amen

Song: Amigos de Cristo (476)

Sending out with God’s blessing

Go now in the comfort and peace of the Lord.
Go in the assurance that the Comforter is with you always.
Go to give comfort and peace to others.
And may God the Father, God the Son  and God the Holy Spirit be with you all both now and forevermore. Amen

Response: Amen, we praise your name, O God (x2) ONE LICENSE

Music postlude


Numbers in brackets after a song/hymn indicate that it is from the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Those and other songs are being used in accordance with the specified licenses with One Licence and CLC.

Bob Calder retains the copyright (© 2022) on all original material presented by him. As far as Bob Calder is aware, all of the material presented that has not been attributed to others is his own creation or is in the public domain. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Song Sheet for Worship on 08 May 2022

Holy Is the Lord

We stand and lift up our hands For the joy of the Lord is our strength We bow down and worship Him now How great, how awesome is He And together we sing

 Holy is the Lord God Almighty The earth is filled with His glory Holy is the Lord God Almighty

The earth is filled with His glory The earth is filled with His glory

 Songwriter: Chris Tomlin © Universal Music Publishing Group. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

 I will trust in the Lord

I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord, ‘til I die

 African American spiritual public domain

 Open our eyes, Lord

Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus, to reach out and touch him and say that we love him, Open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen. Open our eyes, Lord We want to see Jesus

 Words and music: Bob Cull; © Maranatha! Music 1976; The Copyright Company Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Who made the earth and the heaven 1,2,5,6  

Who made the earth and the heaven? Mighty hands! Who made the man and the woman? Awesome hands. Who made the tree and the garden? Loving hands! Who’s got the world in mighty hands?

 Who made the stars and the children? Mighty hands! Who made the stream and the salmon? Awesome hands. Who made the lamb and the lion? Loving hands! Who’s got the world in mighty hands?

Who loves the man and the woman? Mighty hands! Who sent the lamb and the lion? Awesome hands. Who makes a new earth and heaven? Loving hands! Who’s got the world in mighty hands?

You’ve got the whole world, Mighty God! You’ve got the whole world, Awesome God! You’ve got the whole world, Loving God! You’ve got the whole world in your hands!

Words and music Andrew Donaldson © Andrew Donaldson 1997,1996 License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path (repeat)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Michael Whitaker Smith. Thy Word lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, DistroKid  Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

 O for a world where everyone

O for a world where everyone respects each other’s ways, where love is lived and all is done with justice and with praise.  

 O for a world where goods are shared and misery relieved, where truth is spoken, children spared, equality achieved.

 We welcome one world family and struggle with each choice, that opens us to unity and gives our vision voice.

 The poor are rich, the weak are strong, the foolish ones are wise. Tell all who mourn: outcasts belong, who perishes will rise.

 O for a world preparing for God’s glorious reign of peace, where time and tears will be no more, and all but love will cease.

Words: Miriam Therese Winter © Medical Mission Sisters, 1990. Music: Carl G. Glaser ; adpt Lowell Mason © public domain

 Give thanks

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One; give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his Son.

 And now let the weak say, I am strong! Let the poor say, I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.

 Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One; give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his Son.

And now let the weak say, I am strong! Let the poor say, I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.

Words and music: Henry Smith ©1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Amigos de Cristo/Friends of the Lord   

Refrain: Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord; Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord. For we’ve been forgiven, and we’ve been restored, Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.

Friends of the covenant renewed each morn; baptized and loving it, we’ve been reborn. Gift of the dove is ours for evermore. Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.      Refrain

 Born of a family, the young and old, we’ll be on hand to see new life unfold. We understand the need to be made whole. Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.      Refrain

Words and music: Public domain

 Sing Amen

Sing Amen, Amen, we praise your name, O God!
Sing Amen! Amen, we praise your name, O God!
Sing Amen! Amen, amen. Amen, amen.
Amen, we praise your name, O God!

Words: Xhosa,S.C.Molefe © Lamko Institute,1991. Music: S.C.Molefe © Lamko Institute,1991. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

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