Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 23rd January, the Third Sunday of Epiphany

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

Now you are the body of Christ and individuals members of it. 1 Corinthians 12. 12, 27

One of the challenges to our well-being we have experienced over the past two years, is the sense of isolation and separation from those groups and organisations we previously felt an integral part of. Be it family groups, friendship groups, local clubs, Mothers’ Union Branches or our church communities, physical separation can lead to emotional and spiritual separation. It might not be due to a lack of contact from the other members of the group but sometimes we just need to see someone in person in order to experience that really deep sense of belonging.

When we have been able, it has been wonderful to meet in person and strengthen the bonds of friendship and belonging which bind us together. There have been many setbacks on the way but this current period of greater restrictions has been nothing like as long-lasting as those we experienced at this time last year. This in turn, gives us hope that most of our encounters with our friendship and family groups will return to the reality of physical meetings over the coming months. For some of you, this might be a source of anxiety particularly if you haven’t been able to return to branch meetings or church as yet. I would like to suggest that it may be difficult at first but the benefits in the long term will be worth the initial discomfort.

It is in our coming together that we will begin to reconnect with our church family. Paul describes us as members of the Body of Christ and the body is a physical thing and needs taking care of in a physical, as well as spiritual way. When we gather together physically we are able to fully take up our places as members of that body. Of course, it will not be a simple matter for some of you to travel to the places where physical meetings are being held and that is where the variety of roles, that members of the body of Christ are called to, comes in to play. Some are called to offer lifts. Some are called to visit indoor members. Some are called to co-ordinate our groups to ensure that nobody is forgotten. As we have realised over the past two years, nothing beats meeting face to face, or indeed when it is eventually safe – the intimacy of touch, so let us try to make such physical contact a reality for all our members.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra