Good morning everyone,
I am looking forward already to next week, Mothering Sunday, which is traditionally when we can have flowers in Church as a respite in the rigours of Lent. Mothering Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to keep in touch with each other by the simple act of delivering flowers – as we did this time last year. A symbolic way of people feeling included in the face of restrictions which, by their very nature, exclude.

We now have date to work towards, 21 June, as part of a national phased return to ‘normality’. We are tired at this point in time but also excited about a future which beckons when we are no longer excluded from one another but can relate to one another, face to face.   

Jesus expresses anger and rage this morning in our Gospel reading. The source of his anger is when he sees how people are excluded from worship. Which begs the question: is our place of worship a house of prayer? 

And a good question to ask in Lent, and as we prepare to be gathered again: do our corporate gatherings for worship reflect the heart of a God who gathers the outcast and the outsider? 

This work of Jesus, of overturning tables, is never over until it is fully over – until everyone is truly, radically, included. 

Heavenly Father, help us to grow in our prayer life. Fill our hearts with a desire to pray with one another. May our church be a joyful house of prayer, a place where all without exception are welcome to worship and pray. Give us a prayerful heart for the outsider and the excluded. Amen.

Virtual Service 7 March