Discovering a new joy – Vicar’s Mothering Sunday [31st March] thought

Discovering a new joy

Today we want to affirm the care and tenderness that can be found in families, especially in the Lodder and Bell families as they bring Ash with great thankfulness for Baptism (it’s OK guys, we know it’s not always perfect!). In a world of much difficulty, troubles, indeed suffering we wonder how this can be?! And yet this care and tenderness is found among us, and not just in married families, but between friends and in many places – and very much so among the family of God’s people which is absolutely open to anyone – as Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” [1]

Now many people ask, in this world of so much suffering, how can there possibly be a God, let alone a God of love? Well, here’s something strange to think about – that God really does know all our sufferings (think of Jesus ordeal on the Cross for starters!), but He also has a care and tenderness towards us that is not defeated or in any way falls short of what we need in any struggle. It is a remarkable revelation when you discover this care, and full of a joy that is far more than you ever expected. But let me finish by saying, at root many of us feel forgotten – “what you’ve said may be something others have found, but could never be for me.” On this Mothering Sunday let me end with the Lord’s words from one of our readings: ‘Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.’[2]

[1] Matthew 11.28 [2] Isaiah 49.15-16