Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mothering Sunday at Seal

We had a good crowd for Mothering Sunday today, and talked about some of the worries we have for our children, and the worries that the children have for themselves. It's not just parents who worry about their children, but also grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, friends... we can all think of children whose futures we care about.

We thought about the story of the children who were brought to Jesus by their parents, parents who
Nicolaes Maes Christ blessing the Children 1652-53
were worried about them. They lived in a land which was occupied by the Romans, where there was no modern medicine, and no welfare state, so they had even more to worry about than we do. They recognised that the most important thing they needed to do was to bring their children to Jesus for him to bless and pray for them.

Despite all the advances there have been, which help to keep our children safe, we still can't protect them from everything, and there are new worries now that didn't exist then - climate change, the challenges of technology and so on. No one has a magic wand to take all our worries for the future of our children away, but there are ways we can help them to be resilient and joyful no matter what happens. Helping them to be aware of the presence of God is part of this. In the Old Testament reading we heard today  we heard about ways in which the Israelites were told they could help to remind their children of God's love for them, day by day.

I gave out a leaflet with some ideas for nurturing faith with children at the end of the service. It is here if you'd like a copy. 
I also gave out a bookmark with a link to the suggestions from Faith5  - a simple way of praying with children.

After Communion the choir sang "Day by Day" by Martin How, based on a prayer of St Richard of Chichester. You can listen to our recording of it here. 

Day by day, O Lord of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly
love thee more dearly 
follow thee more nearly
day by day.  

We lit candles for mothers, carers and children, whether they were still with us or not, and for those who wanted to be mothers but hadn't been able to have children.

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