Weekly Reflection - 12th March 2021

12 March 2021

Remade with Love
The Revd Canon Leah Vasey-Saunders

‘Lord Jesus in your mercy heal us, in your love and tenderness remake us’

(From the Song of St Anselm, inspired by the writing of the 11th Century Archbishop of Canterbury and rephrased as a Canticle for Common Worship by Michael Vasey and to be sung at our 09:15 service this Sunday).

This weekend we face a second Mothering Sunday under lockdown restrictions and for many that will mean a breaking of family traditions, not being able to visit their mothers or extended families. It will for some be a relief to be able to navigate more privately the grief that this day exposes, of broken relationships and abuse, and of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Mothering Sunday has not always been about Mum. A day that dates back to the 16th Century, this Sunday was initially about returning to Mother Church – usually a large civic church or Cathedral and often set in a context where those working in service would have been given the day off to go to church, often taking the opportunity to visit home along the way. It became less popular for a time and its later revival became much more connected to family life and mothers, hence the traditions that form our own celebrations today.

The Latin name for this Sunday is Laetare (Rejoice) Sunday. It is a day of joy in the middle of the season of Lent, a day that is intended to bring us a glimpse of the hope and the light to come at Easter. This year is, of course, different to last year. As a vaccination program rolls out across the world and we anticipate the opportunities that the government roadmap will allow us in the coming months many of us are feeling more hopeful than a year ago.

This Mothering Sunday, whilst we remember those who have mothered us, for good or ill, we remember the context of mothering beyond our earthly families. We are perhaps naïve to think that we are able to be fully loved and nurtured by one single person and as a Mum the most encouraging phrase I often heard from friends was ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. On this Sunday we recall the kind of mothering talked about by Anselm in his prayers and meditations (See here), the Mothering that comes in and through God and at its best the church. This is a mothering for which we all have a responsibility, to show the love of Mother God to each other. It will mean different things for different people, and it’s not a responsibility to be discharged just on one day of the year. But as we come out of lockdown, all of us need to know the mother love of God surrounding us.

And you, my soul, dead in yourself,
run under the wings of Jesus your mother
and lament your griefs under his feathers.
Ask that your wounds may be healed
and that, comforted, you may live again.

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