A sermon for Mothering Sunday

Sermon preached at St Swithin’s Compton Bassett, 11th March: Mothering Sunday
1 Samuel 1.20-28 & Luke 2.33-35

hannah samuelThis fourth Sunday of Lent, half-way through the austere season leading up to Easter, is also Mothering Sunday. Traditionally it was a day when children, daughters mainly, were given a day off to visit their mother and family. However, the ‘mothering’ part of this Sunday has its roots in a tradition that didn’t have much to do with our biological mothers.

In the old days, when regular worship in parish churches was still more part of the pattern of life, it was deemed to be important once a year for people to return to their ‘home’ or ‘mother’ church, instead of worshipping at the local parish church. Naturally, this became a good reason for a family reunion, when those who had ‘flown the nest’ so to say, came back home to worship. Continue reading “A sermon for Mothering Sunday”

The Holy Family

A reflection on Christmas, the New Year and the Church family

Based on a sermon preached at St Mary’s Marlborough
on the First Sunday of Christmas

Following earlier thoughts and reflections on Advent, Christmas and the New Year

holy family 2On this first Sunday after Christmas, in many churches, the Holy Family is the central theme. There are times in the Church year when we remember Mary and Joseph individually, but this day we are invited to think about them as a family. What struck me a couple of years ago, when reflecting on this theme, is how Joseph, despite not being Jesus biological father, is fully given this father-role in Scripture and tradition. Joseph, as foster-parent or adoptive parent is not only taking the responsibility as Jesus’ father, but is also treated as such. For me, this is already an early sign that God in Jesus embraces all complexities of human life, including the complexities of family life.

Continue reading “The Holy Family”