Vicar's Letter: Mothering Sunday

 

Mothering Sunday

Dear friends

Welcome to our special service for Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday was traditionally the day in Lent when people would be encouraged to worship in their mother church, the main church of the parish or cathedral or minster church.

 

Many would make long journeys back ‘home’. This was in the age where people would leave home to go into ‘service’ by finding employment in stately homes. It then became a tradition that the house owner would give the servants the Sunday off to travel to their home church. This led to people returning home to their families where they would enjoy large gatherings all together. Our modern understanding of celebrating mothers on this day is thought to have come from this tradition as those returning home would often bring gifts of flowers for their mothers. Much of our association with flowers and family gatherings on Mothering Sunday is now almost entirely a celebration of motherhood and mothers.

 

Perhaps in our congregation this morning there will be those who have made significant journeys to be here, either to stay with the family or to attend the ‘Thanksgiving’ for Mylie. I wonder who has made the longest journey to be here this morning? Whenever we do make that journey we spend the time catching up with one another and finding out how everyone is getting on.

 

How are you doing?

Coming to church this morning involved a journey for us all – short for some, longer for others. But in every case a journey is embarked upon. We come to this place where God says to us: ‘How are you doing? how is your journey through life, going? Are you walking it with me or travelling solo?

‘I am not forgotten’

I wonder if you have ever been in a situation where you have parked your car in a large multi storey car park and forgotten to observe which level it is on or which bay and merrily gone your way only to find on your return that you have absolutely no idea where you left your car?

 

That can be a little disconcerting not least because of the time you then must take to walk around until you find it.

 

Sometimes we can feel that God has parked us up somewhere in his plans and forgotten where he put us. We are waiting for him to come and find us.

 

In our service today we are reminded that we are not forgotten, that God does not forget us. In the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah (chapter 49: 15-16) we read; ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?’ (the implication of this happening would be preposterous) ‘Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’.

 

Whatever the circumstances of our lives or situations we may face, we have this promise that God has not forgotten us; that he sees us, observes us and is reaching out to us to come ‘home’.

 

Whatever your plans might be today on this Mothering Sunday, whether alone or with family and friends, thank you for worshipping with us as part of the family of this church where we can all find a home in our love for God and for one another.

                                                            Every blessing,  Stephen