‘Woman, here is your son. Beloved, here is your mother.’
Well it’s not your average Mothering Sunday. A day when, traditionally, people were able to go back to their mother church to remember how it nurtured you. A day when we normally come together in Church to thank God for the gift of our mothers and all those who mother us – and here we are separated from one another, from the mothers and all those who mothered us, and mothers are separated from the children they received as gifts who they nurtured and cared for. What we find is that, in many places, people are stepping in and looking out for somebody else’s mother, or somebody else’s child. I’ve been encouraged by stories of notes being put through doors offering to help by groceries, by hotels making themselves available to the NHS and other hotels opening their doors to the homeless. By the BBC shaping their programming to help parents homeschool their children. By yoga teachers offering daily online yoga classes for children. While it would be easy to get down about the weeks ahead of confinement. Or about the selfishness of those who have hoarded supplies from our stores. We should look at this situation with a certain hope that this time too will pass.
In our Old Testament reading Hannah is so overjoyed by the gift of a son that she offers him to God. In a way every mother who receives the gift of a child is called to gradually let go of them, to offer them to the world as a precious gift, as soon as he or she is weened from the nurture that we wish every child would receive at home. Hannah knows how precious a gift her child is, how precious every one of us is as a child. Jesus offers his most precious friend, the beloved disciple, to his mother and his beloved mother to his friend. This is seen by many as one of those defining moments of the church. Where we learn that, not only are we adopted children of God, but we are adopted mothers, and father, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of one another in Christ. As such we are a gift from God to each other. You are each of you a gift from God, for God, for God’s church.
There is a certain thread at the moment in the media, about when will things get back to normal. It’s not unlike how some parents first react to having a child, when will my life get back to normal, when they stop waking up in the night? when I can go back to work? But the reality is, after having a child life never goes back to what it was before they were born. Life will never go back to what it was like in 2019, but hopefully we will learn, in physical absence from one another, but with a greater reliance on one another’s actions, we will learn that we truly are one anothers brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. A precious gift to one another.
The Reverend Robin Sims-Williams
8.00am Morning Prayer in the lady chapel
10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School
Christian Meditation Wednesdays at 9.10am
Said Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00am
Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm
Please note that Public worship has been suspended, you can therefore participate in these services via Facebook live stream
We all make assumptions about other people, or about the way things work. But every now and then we get interrupted in our assumptions and have to take a step back and think it through.
I remember getting off the bus at 4 in the morning next to a major highway with the rain pouring down and being so completely disorientated as to where I was. Even though I was surrounded by people I felt completely isolated and alone.
The tension grows as the boys resist touching the art. And then suddenly they can’t resist any longer, a set of football sized balls fall off one of the installation and suddenly everything is falling over.
Of course, sometimes it is the most unlikely places one finds the encouragement and support one needs in life.