Good Friday

It seems to me that not even the traffic passing by in the now darkened streets can overcome the holiness and deep stillness of Good Friday evening. However,the world, life, people, and times may have changed in the centuries flown by since our Redeemer died, the closeness of God’s watching angels is still felt.

Oh yes His angels still keep watch, a close, loving watch over us, and, over our loved ones, over the sick, the grieving and the dying.

A prayer in time of darkness

All that I love
Into your keeping.
All that I care for
Into your care.
Be with us by day,
Be with us by night;
And as dark closes
My eyelids with sleep,
May I waken
To the peace of a new day.

However, storm tossed and troubled we may be, we can rest safe in the knowledge that we are loved, and watched … The darkness is nothing to be feared, sin and death have all been overturned by God’s amazing love through which He gave His only begotten Son that we might know and have, for ourselves eternal life.

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
(Sir Bernard Williams)

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My Mother, Your Mother and The Church of the Firstborn

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Today was Mothering Sunday, a day when every Mother is honoured and a day when those women who have never been a mother themselves, but have loved and shown motherly kindness are not forgotten.

It’s not just those Mothers who are there to take our posies and gifts from our eager hands, but the ones who have been called ‘home’ – those we sadly miss and sigh for. For the past three days people have been arriving at the churchyard with fresh flowers for their Mum’s grave. Mothers Day brings people back to Rowley from all over the U.K., just to visit their Mum, who can no longer be seen or touched, but never seems to be far away….

Because St Giles has a problem with a gas leak, we held our Mothering Sunday in the warmth of the Church Hall today. Like good Christian Pilgrims we packed up all that we needed, including the pretty, posies presented to all the ladies at the end of the service, and simply followed God’s Angel and crossed over the road to the Hall

Agata’s nimble fingers made the piano sing, and Reverend Ian gave an inspiring address which focused on that special gift that mothers have of telling stories to their children. Stories of their childhood, stories about grandparents, which fire our imagination and light our way forward, and of course that, old, old story, which if you are my age, you too probably heard at your mothers knee.

Yes, I mean the story which tells of the love of Jesus, and his glory and that he died for me, for you….

I had been thinking of that old, old story quite a lot in recent days. It is reported that 4 out of every 10 children in the U.K have never heard, or read the Easter Story, that’s a lot of children, and I rather feel that is because their mother has never heard it either.

Why does that seem important to me?

Well, I think it’s because I know the Lord Jesus, and I know His Father. Not just because I heard or read the Easter Story but because, I know and experience His presence every single minute of every single day.

In my young days, this mornings Service would have had different readings. Because those were the days of the Book of Common Prayer. These verses from Hebrews 12 come readily to mind:

But you have come to Mount Zion to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven

In the days when the Book of Common Prayer was an infant, Mothering Sunday, was the day when everyone, no matter how great the distance, if they possibly could made the journey back home to visit not only their Mother but to worship in their own, parish and Mother Church, where they like me, they would rejoice that their names were written in heaven.

My Mothers name was Lily, and yes, her earthly remains are buried in Rowley Churchyard, her name is written their together with my father’s on their memorial, but, and I rejoice to say this, also written in heaven, I don’t look to meet either of them in the churchyard but in heaven…

Tell me the Old, Old Story,
Tell me the Old, Old, Story
Tell me the Old, Old, Story
Of Jesus and his love.

Tell me, the Old, Old, Story