22nd March 2020 – Service and Reflection

Look at the clock.

From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised! The Lord is high over all the nations; God’s glory is higher than the skies! (Psalm 113:3-4)

Lord, at this time, and in this place, we come to worship you.

Be with us, be in our thoughts, in words, in our actions.

Lord, in this time, and in this place, come, as we seek to worship you.

Over the years, as the clock has ticked the time away

You have been present

Over the years, as the clock has ticked the time away

You have loved us

Over the years, as the clock has ticked the time away

You have been both mother and father to us.

 

Confession

Listen to the ticking of a clock

Lord, there have been times when we have spent our time unwisely

When we have wasted the gifts you have given us. Forgive us.

Lord, there have been occasions when we have turned our backs upon you.

When we have chosen to walk in different ways. Forgive us.

Lord, there have been occasions when we have failed to be present.

When we have ignored the voices around us asking for help. Forgive us.

Listen to what the Bible says: If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ).

Your sins are forgiven.

 

The Readings:

Exodus 2:1-10 – the story of the birth and rescue of Moses

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 – God is with you in all things and at all times

Luke 2:33-35: Simeon’s prophecy to Mary.

Choose one (or more of the readings). Read it through slowly to yourself. If any word or phrase seems to pop out at you, pause. Think about it. What do you think God is trying to say to you in your current situation?

You will find a brief reflection at the end of this service sheet.

 

The Intercessions:

As you come to prayer, still yourself. What can you hear around you? What can you sense? Pray for the people you hear and see, give thanks for the scenes around you.

We pray for all those people working around the clock to care for us:

People working for the health service and emergency services

Those in government, trying to work out what is best for us

Those in our local community, trying to serve us.

We pray for those for whom the ticking of the clock seems slow:

Those isolated at home with little contact.

Those who are sick or ill.

Those who are struggling with life at the moment.

We pray for those for whom time seems to be flying:

Those looking for a cure or vaccine for coronavirus

Those juggling home and work lives.

We draw our prayers together in the words that Jesus taught us: Our Father….

 

Thanksgiving

As time passes, we thank God for all his many gifts to us that have been, that are, and that will be.

What are you thankful for today?

So as the clock moves on, we move on in our lives with the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

——————————

Reflection

What odd times we are living in. Today is Laetare Sunday – also known as Joyful Sunday. Do you feel joyful today? It’s also Mothering Sunday – and yet, for many, they will be unable to visit their mothers. Not that the day is about that, anyway. It is about mothering, not mothers. There is a difference. It was the day when people returned to their home church – their ‘mother’ church. When young girls in service returned home for the first time since the New Year. It’s the day when we celebrate the gift of ‘mothering’ within our world. You don’t have to be a physical ‘mum’ to mother. You don’t even have to be a female.

I’ve been told several times this week that is is such a pity church has been cancelled, for the time being. Services may have cancelled, but church should still be going on, in the wider community. Church isn’t just meeting together on a Sunday morning, but about being the hands and feet, the voice of God, in the wider community. The question is, how do we do that in this current climate of fear and isolation?

For me, part of the answer is that we are called to be mothers. We are called to look after, to serve, to protect. We are called to love without question – even when things go wrong. We are called to listen without interrupting, to support, to talk. To care, shelter, welcome. Occasionally to discipline. We do not necessarily need to physically be in touch to do these things.

When we talk of the church being the mother church, those are the attributes that church ought to be showing, sharing, communicating. This should be the church to which we belong – and the behaviour of the members within it – not just the women, but the men. Mothering is for you as well.

Today is mothering Sunday. I think it’s good that we celebrate those who are mothers. Don’t forget to celebrate those who have mothered us. And that we are all called at this time to mother our own communities. This is what we remember as we celebrate the mother church today.

About iggandfriends

Taking time out to ponder life and everything else. This is the space where I press the pause button on my busy life to reconnect with God, to re-energize, and focus on my creativity. Time out to blow bubbles, walk on the beach, write some stuff, do some needlework, and generally enjoy life once again. You can view my main blog at www.iggandfriends.wordpress.com. I also have another blog at www,faithinthehome.wordpress.com, and a arty/crafty one at http://52weeksofcreations.wordpress.com/. I hope you enjoy visiting :)
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