Mothers’ Union Devotions Sunday 31st January 2021 the Fourth Sunday of Epiphany

I do not know if I have said this to you before, but I am not a very patient person, so I am rather in awe of Simeon and Anna whose story we hear on Tuesday – the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Anna, particularly, we are told never left the temple but worshiped day and night with prayers and fasting. I am sure if it were me, there would have been times when I would be drawn to forget the frugal lifestyle and head for whatever was the equivalent of a large bar of chocolate in those days.

Because let us be honest, there are days when no matter how strong our faith may be, we feel the frustration of waiting for better times. This past year has really bought that cycle of frustration, impatience, resignation and hope into sharp relief. We knew back last spring that this disease would come in at least two waves. That the numbers in the winter would be higher than last spring, but I suspect many of us did not equate this to another long lockdown such as we as experiencing at the moment.

Under such a prolonged disruption to our daily lives it is only to be expected that we have moments of worry when we wonder if God has been placed on furlough. I do not think we should feel too bad about the reality of our ability or indeed inability to remain constant in our faith. What will help better is finding ways to take a rest from our worries and concerns about the current situation. One of the problems at the moment is each day can seem like a Sabbath rest. So how can we find rest from our worries?

Maybe having a day free from listening or reading the news will help. Or a day where you treat yourself not necessarily to unhealthy luxuries but as suggested in a wonderful eulogy, I heard this week – put your best clothes on, spray on your best perfume or aftershave, open that present that you had put aside for best, get out your best china even if it is only for beans on toast. Living differently for a day can be just as good for your well-being as a day of rest.

It is by experiencing these periods of rest or renewal that our minds are enabled to trust once again, that Jesus walks alongside us, shining his light into our lives everyday. Reassuring us that we are never forgotten or alone.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra