I have had a busy day – a communion service, a funeral and an afternoon with teenage girls doing mindfulness, along with various bits of admin. I have not had time (nor if I’m honest inclination) to go calling on neighbours. I left the perfume on the vestry table in a package for my friend who will find it tonight. I got to know one of my neighbours a bit better a few days ago when we chatted for a while, so I could say that I fulfilled today’s challenge early. And I did go to the Lent lunch and chat with folk there instead of eating at home, which as I was short of time was very tempting.
Overall, not a brillliant Lenten day. However, I have just had a walk and got an idea for Sunday’s sermon for Mothering Sunday when we will be using the gospel for Lent 4 rather than the readings for Mothers. It will make a change. It is the parable of the prodigal son. God’s love is unconditional. We don’t have to do anything to deserve it. So I shouldn’t feel bad about not managing today’s challenge. God won’t love me any the less and that’s what’s important.
In the funeral we had 3 hymns rather than the usual 2. One of them was my least favourite – the Old Rugged Cross. I don’t like it on 2 counts: it encourages a superstitious attitude to the cross and its too high to sing. However today this was offset by reading the poem/prayer I carry a cross in my pocket.
The deceased had carried these words and so they obviously meant something to her. Her daughter agreed when I suggested I read it out during the service. So I did so just before we sang the hymn so I could point out that the cross itself doesn’t save us, but what Jesus did on it that does. We had already sang Amazing Grace so I could point out that we don’t do anything to deserve eternal life. The first hymn had been O Lord My God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hand hath made…. then sings my should my saviour God to thee, how great thou art….. this is one of my favourite hymns and has been for many years. I want it at my funeral. When Christ shall come….. and take me home… what joy shall fill my heart….. but I hope that’s a long time in the future.