This is a bringing together of the stories of Hannah, Naomi and Mary with the link being the self-sacrifice, prayer and faith of these mothers, which point us to Jesus.
It is also a Mother-in-law story (Naomi); a Mother-in-waiting story (a childless wife, Hannah) and an unmarried Mother story (Mary)
- 1 Samuel 1
- Ruth 1: 8 – 18
- Luke 1: 30 – 38
Use the pictures from the Good News Bible, enlarged on acetate, or clip art from the web, printed and copied large on card (be sure to check copyright if copying images).
Involve various readers for the different stories, which should come at three separate sections of the service. Each time say a little extra about each mother after the readings, linking it to the experiences of mums today.
Perhaps different mothers from the church family could share a simple story of what their faith means to them. Intersperse this with short songs/hymns and prayers. Draw it all together at the end by focusing on ‘The ultimate sacrifice’ (to which all these stories point), which is Jesus’ life and death for us. The links for this are:
- Naomi and Ruth were on their way back to Bethlehem, which reminds us of the Christmas story and God’s gift of Jesus for us. Ruth was the ancestor of Jesus.
- Hannah promised to give her child to the Lord. She gave him up, just as God gave up Jesus for the work of rescue, which was His life’s work.
- Mary received by faith the life of God within her. It reminds us that this is what God longs to happen for us; His life received into us as we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
Three words from these stories are a pattern for our response:
- Where you go, I will go (Ruth to Naomi)
- I will give my best to God (what Hannah did)
- Faith in the fact that ‘nothing is impossible with God’ (Gabriel’s words to Mary)