Readings for 4th Week of Lent
Mon: Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30; John 4:43-54
Tues: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-18
Wed: Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalm 145:8-14; John 5:19-30
Thurs: Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 103:1-12; John 5:31-47
Fri: 2 Samuel 7:10-16; Psalm 89:35-37; Romans 4:13-18; Matthew 1:18-25
Sat: Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7:1, 2, 8-11; John 7:40-53.
Daily Online Programme for Lent (click for details)
Once more the mysteries of Outlook have defeated the letter you should have received with the weekly sheet last night, whisked it away into some internet black hole. If anyone has Outlook expertise and can help us with this, please get in touch. Unfortunately, I stupidly pressed ‘send’ without saving and words I had literally toiled over can never be recovered.
I wrote about the Pandemic – it was on 12th March 2020 that the Prime minster, after weeks of temporising, told us that we were facing a ‘once in a generation’ surge of infection. Four days later we were told to avoid unnecessary social contact and shortly after the first lockdown began; Mothering Sunday flowers all cancelled, families separated, residential homes closed to visitors and churches closed. The world-wide search for protective gear began, contracts were let at huge cost and people began to die in hospitals where the staff went way beyond their duty in bravery and care.
Twelve months on a cautious light begins to show, here if not elsewhere. The danger is, even post-vaccine, still with and the vaccine programme still has a way to go. But this year we have re-ordered the flowers and our services go ahead, if touched by the remembrance we must make of those who have died and for those who grieve.
Mothering Sunday is traditionally a day of mid-Lent refreshment and thanksgiving for the mothers we have, even if they no longer are with us on this earth and for those who are mothers surrounded by children and grandchildren. It also a day of thanksgiving for our mother the Church who likewise feeds and nurtures us and for Mary, a mother who knew, like many, both joy and sorrow. It is a day of love and the gospel, form John chapter 3 reminds us of the God who loves the world so much that he sends his only Son, that whoever believes in him may have ternal life, a God who comes, not to condemn the world but to save it.
May that saving love touch your hearts and your lives not just tomorrow but always.
Two poems/prayers celebrating love in Jesus the Saviour:
A song of Anselm of Canterbury
Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you:
You are gentle with us as a mother with her children;
Often you weep over our sins and our pride:
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds:
in sickness you nurse us,
and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life:
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness:
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead:
your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us:
in your love and tenderness remake us.
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness:
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.
A Song of True Motherhood
Julian of Norwich
God chose to be our mother in all things *
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humbly and most pure, in the Virgin’s womb.
God, the perfect wisdom of all, *
arrayed himself in this humble place.
Christ came in our poor flesh *
to share a mother’s care.
Our mothers bear us for pain and for death; *
our true mother, Jesus, bears us for joy and
Christ carried us within him in love and travail, *
until the full time of his passion.
And when all was completed and he had carried
us so for joy, *
still all this could not satisfy the power of his
All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God, *
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.