A Candle is lit.

As we now walk towards the joy of the Easter sunrise, perhaps you remember the advent candle lit not so long ago, these very traditions reminding us that life is always made up of seasons?
I have one friend who always lights a candle when she eats as a reminder that Christ is present at every meal. And another friend lights a candle on my behalf, as a simple act of remembering.

So let us pray

Lord as we now come to you, you are aware of each person here present and of how and in what way they need the Light of your presence to brighten up and push back any darkness in their world. And so we invite you now, in our pausing to reflect and to be still, to shine the Light of your hope, your peace, your calm, your council, your grace, and as is often needed your wisdom, into our lives, and into the lives of all we further think of this day. Amen

If you are comfortable with doing, so may I now invite you to either look at the candle or else keep your eyes closed as I continue?

Throughout this service we are being called to “Receive Children, and in doing so Receive Him”.
Male or female, adult or child, are you able to come “just as you are” right now, and to acknowledge Him as your Father, who loves you with a “no strings attached” unconditional love?
As we think of the sometimes plain and unattractive caterpillar, being transformed bit by bit, stage by stage, into a beautiful butterfly flying free can you allow Him thus to transform you?

Perhaps you have never allowed yourself permission to just to sit and be, or you may have in the past, but ”living life” takes up so much energy right now, that you simply don’t seem to have time for that space in your life at this time?
Perhaps, like many, you feel you need to live up to expectations both of others, and of yourself?
Perhaps in your world, encouragement is a foreign concept as you daily live with put downs and negatives from those who should know better?
Perhaps you’ve simply forgotten the joy of being like a child running home, with no doubt in their mind that they will find safety and utter acceptance there?

Wherever you are at today I now invite you for just a few moments to sit with these truths from scripture which we will then gather up by saying all together, the line from the butterfly song….
“And so In 1 Peter 2 we read that we are

In Zephaniah 3 we read that God, the Mighty Warrior, who save us,

Father for each person here present I ask that they, as your adopted children, will know just how special they are to you.
That they will know you delight in them, that they are chosen, and treasured by you, and that even now you are singing songs of pure delight over us all.
Thank you for your promise to continue your work in us, until one day we like a caterpillar to butterfly will be transformed, fully free, and home safe ….

Yes Lord we all declare…..”I just thank you father for making me me.”
Allow time for all to repeat….…..”I just thank you father for making me me.”

And now Lord we want to bring before you the significant children in our own lives.
Those known to us within our family circle, and our church circles and community circles as well.
Children of all ages, some yet to be born
Some toddlers: Some teenagers with mixed up emotions: Some students:
Some workers: Some perhaps ill , or weary with life’s often-times unrealistic expectations.
And the grown up children known to us, who have become the parent for the adult who has become the child.

Whatever stage our own “known to us children” are at, we think now of just one child known to us, pausing as we bring them to the Father for His embrace and care….. (PAUSE)

and so we say on their behalf…
“Thank you Father for making me me”
allow all to repeat “Thank you Father for making me me”

And lastly we think and pray for those children whose “today” is a day full of heart ache, of not knowing, of not being believed or trusted and for whom the good experiences of childhood many of us have or have had, is just the stuff of make believe.

Children growing up with a parent working away from home
Children in care
Children who are seen only as a commodity with monetary value
Children working on rubbish tips all day long and then sleeping on hard pavements at night with no one to love , protect or care for them
Children who instead of being able to enjoy their childhood have to grow up too quick, in order to become the carer.
Children who alongside their bewildered family group are having to ,as a result of war, to move away from all that is familiar and known to them to join the ever growing numbers of strangers in a foreign land
Children who are ill, sometime terminally so.
Children who are grieving for a parent ,either through death or separation
Children who have been and continue to be abused often silently, and often behind “respectful” doors.

And as we once more pause, thinking perhaps of a child in one of the groups mentioned above, or maybe even some other group of children known to us which has come to mind, we once again declare , and give thanks for each one, grateful that you God, make every child, perfect, and “wonderfully unique!”

Yes Lord we each one here today, echo one last time for ourselves and others.

“I just thank you Father for making me me.”
Allow time for all to repeat….….. “ I just thank you Father for making me me.”

And so as I now blow out this candle we do thank you Lord for your Light given to all, and for your word as a lamp unto our feet to guide us all our days. Amen

Scripture refeneces…. ! Peter 2:9 Zephaniah 3:17 Phillipians 1:6 John 8;12 Pslam 119;105

A quote by Judy Morrow…

“The mosaic of life has sharp edges. Things that don’t fit. Events that don’t make sense. Pain that sears our souls. Yet it is the pain, the sorrows and the heartaches, that form our personal mosaic. These things define us, mould us and shape us to be people of character and purpose. People of compassion and empathy. People of grace. Picture this: Gods hand taking each broken piece of our life and fitting them together with the mortar of His grace. God , the skilled craftsman, gently lays each piece into place at the perfect time and then steps back and views His work from the perspective of eternity. With His knowledge that is infinite and unlimited. With His love that desires the highest good- His very best for His children. And He sees the mosaic of our lives as we will come to see it someday: it is good. It is very good. “