Rev Gary McDowell opened the service with all the young folk at the front of the church.
He asked them if they knew what today was ?
It was mothers day !
Gary asked them what they did for their moms for Mothers day ?
They answered that they had made cards, bought them some sweets....
Then Gary asked them what their mothers did for them ?
The answer was a unanimous "Everything" " taker them to school, for haircuts, to sports games, fixed their meals, repaired their clothes, helped them with homework"
He then asked them who else looked after everything that we need, every day, and everywhere ?
How much did God love us, how wide was his love,
How deep was his love how limited was his love for us ?
Un-ending, immeasurable and everywhere, forever.
The hymn for today with all singing along
Aleida opened the service with a prayer and asked Tara to do the reading
Aleida had asked a question prior to the service:
"What do we have in common with sheep and what can we learn from them ?"
Her answers were thought provoking.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep ( God's people). He leads his sheep through the words of the bible, through things we read and hear, through the words of trusted friends and family and through His still small voice in our hearts. He also died for His sheep to take the punishment for their sins.
The sheep know the shepherds voice, the recognise it, respond to it and obey it. The sheep follow where the shepherd leads and so find good pasture.
How do we respond to the Good Shepherd Jesus? Do we know His voice and obey it? Do we follow where He leads us? Do we acknowledge His death on the cross and accept the forgiveness for our sins that He won? Have we entered into the new life that He offers us, an abundant life, with trials no doubt, but with the assurance of His presence, care, provision, protection, guidance and love?
Jesus is the Good shepherd. Are you one of His sheep?
The sermon was by Rev Alistair Bill
The opening message was directed to the little folk and the question that was asked was:
"What is the Church ?
Alistair asked the children what the church was made up of ?
Answers were "Walls" , "Roof","Windows" , "Floor", "Doors"
Alistair then went on to say that although these provided the physical aspects of the church building, the more important part of a church is the people of the church.
Alistair also said that the church did not belong to any person, be he the minister or any other member of the church. The church belonged only to God.
Alistair led the prayers and then after the children left to go to Sunday school he went on to provide a sermon, based on Ephesians 3 - 14:21
There were also some fond memories of Alistair's time spent at Arklow Presbyterian Church up to 1988.
Here is the then and now picture !