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Our crowdsourced, online Sunday service for Mothering Sunday, 22nd March 2020, with readings, reflections and prayers.
Either way, as we consider today’s readings, I wonder what we can learn about living in the wilderness of life, and how to be sustained spiritually in the midst of difficult times? Given the times in which we are currently living, with the spread of the Coronavirus, and the increasing concern it brings, this is perhaps a very timely theme to explore together.
In David’s time, and the centuries following, it was through the lens of these mystical, often miraculous stories, and through the landscape itself, that people made sense of their spirituality. In our time, though, things seem much more complicated. The boundaries of our rational worldview are much more tightly framed. Heaven can seem a very distant place, and any spiritual experiences are easy to doubt, explaining them away through psychological reasoning. So what does the life of our patron, Dewi Sant, have to say to us today, living in a very different world?
The good news entrusted to us, is that our God is the God who comes to us. The God who, even in our sinfulness and brokenness, ministers to us. In fact, who ministers to us precisely because of our sinfulness and brokenness.
In our gospel reading this morning, we contemplate one of the most extraordinary events recorded in the gospels, aside from the resurrection itself. In this mountaintop experience, Jesus is transfigured, his appearance completely transformed, as the disciples Peter, James and John look on astounded. So as we reflect on today’s readings, what can we learn about God’s presence with us, through not just the highs, but also the lows of life?
On this Creation Sunday, our readings invite us to trust in the Creator, who provides for all his creatures, but also challenge us to reflect honestly on the broken state of our world, in which there is so much to make us anxious. So as we reflect on God’s character as our creator, and the nature of his creation, I wonder how we can live more fully as God’s children?
When I first looked at today’s readings, I was reminded of much of my upbringing in the Church, of vicars and youth workers passionately encouraging myself and my peers in our church youth group to live courageously as salt and light in the world. And extolling us not to, under any circumstances, be ashamed of our faith. But what about when we simply can’t face another awkward conversation with a friend or acquaintance? What if we don’t feel any good at talking about our faith, or struggle finding the words to say to others? How can God use us as salt and light, especially in a modern world, where any conversation about faith with others often feels strained and difficult?
In our readings this morning, we continue the Epiphany theme of light dawning in darkness, as Jesus is shown to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, and calls his first disciples. I wonder how Christ’s invitation for us to follow him today can help us to deal with the darkness in our own lives, and in the world around us?
Second Sunday of Epiphany Readings: Isaiah 49.1-7; Psalm 40.1-11; 1 Corinthians 1.1-9; John 1.29-42 (view all) Having just concluded a period of celebration of the amazing and wonderful birth of Jesus… His virgin birth. The angels announcing his birth to the very startled shepherds. The three wise men who had travelled a vast distance over a long period of time, guided by a star. The need for his parents to flee with him to Egypt for his own safety, when…
At his baptism in the Jordan river, Christ immerses himself in our broken humanity, healing the great divide and uniting what is human with what is divine. This is the spiritual reality of baptism: You are now indelibly marked with the divine, and united with God in Christ.
On the Feast of Epiphany, as we celebrate the journey of the Magi to worship the infant Christ, we are also reminded that our lives are a similar spiritual journey. So at the beginning of this new year, this new decade: How can we faithfully navigate our way through life? How can we guided and sustained as we journey onwards? And what does it mean to reach our destination, our journey’s end?
In today’s gospel reading, with Christmas just around the corner, we get our first glimpse of Mary and Joseph, and their obedience to God’s unfolding plan for the salvation of the world. How can we, like them, hear and understand God’s call on us in our lives? And what does it mean to respond in obedience?