Thoughts from the Vicarage 86

Good afternoon Friends of The Valley

Last week I shared our amazement at what we find at The Vicarage front door and this week is no exception! Thank you so much Sue for this most splendid duck, pictured here with an extremely curious Belinda church mouse. It arrived whilst I was out and will be added to the growing collection of what will be a wonderful display when we come to celebrating Easter Day!

Out of Hibernation

A worried correspondent has kindly been in touch to ask about Belinda. The good news is that she is out of hibernation but was flabbergasted when she saw the new visitor to The Vicarage. I think all will be well. More next week.

This weekend it’s Mothering Sunday.

Throughout our communities there will be great joy as children take precious cards, up till then kept secretly, out of school bags, straightened out and given to their mothers, grannies, aunties and carers! Sadly, it’s a fact that for the second year running we’ll be unable to gather in church to celebrate. What a year it has been as we’ve been separated from so many that we love, many have lost their loved ones and there’s been tragedy and distress which means we may look at things a bit differently this year.
Mothering Sunday is, for many, one of delight during Lent, a kind of staging point for a celebration with children offering poesies, sharing appreciation for the love of those who have mothered them. What we can do is give thanks for all those who have loved, influenced, nurtured and cared for each one of us, who have shared their journey with us in some way – whether they are in heaven or on earth.
And, for some of us Mothering Sunday can be a difficult time. For those who have lost their mother, lost children or have unfulfilled dreams of motherhood. Please be assured you are not forgotten and are held in prayer.

A suggestion from our readings …

This week our stories tell of two sons. Moses in the bullrushes and his desperate mother and of Jesus, whose mother Mary, who had also once hidden her own son, watched that son die. Both stories are of mothers and sons seen loving and nurturing one another despite the will of the powerful ones around them to destroy. I think they both reveal a lot about mothering and nurturing. They show us that love that has the power to transform even the most unimaginable situations. To transform situations from despair to hope, even if it may feel only a glimmer.
As we reflect upon all who have nurtured us, birthed us, and journeyed with us through the joyful times and the tough times let us give thanks to God for the very gift of life itself.
And if you haven’t quite got that card ready yet why not use the attached Let’s Pray for Mothers as you pray and maybe share it share it with someone whom you love!

Getting Outside…

The weather may have been a bit inclement this week but we’ve managed to get outside and have enjoyed the last Getting Outside in Lent when we explored soil and seeds. Mr Vicarage aka the Vicarage gardener has been especially busy on the front! This fourth week of Lent the focus moves to Water and is attached. After the deluges of this week that seems particularly apt! We are reminded to thank God for clean, safe water along with a prayer to help us value water as part of our creation; to realise our dependence upon it and our responsibility to look after it.

Wednesday @ 7…

This is an opportunity to come and see and explore more about the creed. The zoom link is the usual one. The Diocese is sending out a daily email with a reflection on the Apostles’ Creed – it’s not too late to sign up for it. Email myself or communications@oxford.anglican.org or simply join in on Wednesday @ 7 via the usual Zoom link on the Sunday sheet.

Lent Through Art project

https://thevcs.org/index.php/Lent2021
I am repeating myself here as it is so very worthwhile and merits a second mention. If you haven’t seen this fabulous site do take a look. Last week, Week 3 which focussed on penitence through Psalm 130 a with interesting verbal and written commentary on the works of art. And here, in another part of the exhibition https://thevcs.org/christs-triumphalentry/ image-and-liturgy is a beautiful depiction of Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem from the Kebran gospels of Ethiopian orthodox Christians.
https://thevcs.org/christs-triumphalentry/

And finally a prayer for Mothering Sunday

Loving God,
Thank you for mums and children
and for all the joy of family life.
Be with those who are grieving because they have no mother;
Be close to those who are struggling because they have no children;
Be near to those who are sad because they are far apart from those they love.
Let your love be present in every home,
And help your church to have eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of all who come.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May God, bless, guide and protect you,

Julie