The View from the Vicarage: Mothering Sunday

I have had some strange days in ministry, today has been one for the strangest – and yet it has had a beauty about it. Community have gathered virtually in so many ways for our church services and of course for Mothers Day.

I was not sure how to approach Mothers Day this morning, I guess I have always have found the combination of  Mothering Sunday and  lent quite difficult – how dow we join Lent to a celebration of motherhood, yet Mothers Day itself is bittersweet.  This year was even harder Mothers Day in church without any  daffodils,  children and of course mothers. I was reasured as I walked through the churchyard, surrounded by the daffodils that grow every year and then was priveledged to be joined by so many  for our virtual service.

Our  readings today from both Exodus 2:1-10 and John 19:25-27 are also is bittersweet. In our first Moses mother has the joy of bringing up her son despite the law that he should be taken away, taking pity on her Pharaoh’s wife takes her as a maid, in our second we see  Mary mother of Jesus standing at the foot of the cross as a sword was  piercing her heart.

Today is bittersweet it will still be full of the love of mam, the one  who fills our homes and hearts and the churchyard will still fill with floral tributes. Today is a day of joy for those who have been able to celebrate together however smaller the scale of celebration but a day of pain for those who have been unable to be a mother or who have lost children.

Today has brought both joy and difficulty, and as I try to take in today I can appreciate the wisdom of Mary  “Be it unto me according to thy word” from that heart breaking scene at the foot of the Cross, to our 2020 COVID19 Mothering Sunday there is an unbroken line of loving obedience to God.

Mary sets the bar for us all in Lent, Mothering Sunday and this world of Covid19. From the love of Mary and the mother of Moses, to the love of mothers and their children everywhere, to the love of the one who created us, and redeems us. Let me leave you with the words of Charles Wesley:

Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling, All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit Into every troubled breast,
Let us all in thee inherit, Let us find that second rest.
Take away the love of sinning, Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning, Sets our hearts at liberty.
Come almighty to deliver, Let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never, Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing, Glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation, Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation, Perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee, Lost in wonder, love and Praise
Yours in Christ
David, your Vicar and your friend.

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