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As we enter challenging times ahead and during these times of Lent, I pray that you will draw closer to God in reading your Bible, prayer, singing (you can listen to all Christian music on Youtube), reading Christian books, daily exercise, cleaning the house and the garden and helping your neighbour.
Due to government guidelines I am unable to offer a service in church but the following link will take you to a communion service that you can share in.
Please keep safe during these times and all being well, we’ll be worshipping again in our church communities sometime soon.
God bless, Steven Poss
Sunday 22nd March 2020
Mothering Sunday – Refreshment Sunday – 4th Sunday of Lent
Well, hello and welcome to this first online Sermon.
Today is Mother’s day and I know this can be a difficult day for many and because of the current virus pandemic, our emotions are anxious at this time. But today is also refreshment Sunday which is the halfway point through Lent in which people have a break from their Lenten fast, so ask yourself today, how you can be refreshed giving our current limitations. Let us ask God to enter into our hearts and minds during this time and fill us with his mercy and peace.
At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds.
A National Day of Prayer and Action has been announced by the presidents of Churches Together in England, in response to the Coronavirus epidemic, for this Sunday 22nd March, Mothering Sunday.
We will pray for those who are sick or anxious and those working in our Health Service and the emergency services.
As one action we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7pm as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.
Please join with us in your home by lighting a candle in your window and saying a prayer at 7pm.
Let us begin by reading today’s collect and readings.
God of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Exodus 2:1-10 - Birth and Youth of Moses
2 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out[b] of the water.”
2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 - Paul’s Thanksgiving after Affliction
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4 who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 6 If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
Luke 2:33-35 - Jesus Is Presented in the Temple
33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Let us begin with a prayer. Heavenly Father, give us your grace and spirit and speak to our hearts and minds, so that we may draw closer to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
On this Mothering Sunday, these coming times are most probably the most testing times we will have, especially on our faith. It is therefore important, that we keep close to God, but also keep our houses clean, laugh often and keep our well being in good shape with daily exercise and conversations too.
Mother’s day came out of, as the church as our mother, the body of Christ that baptised you, nurtures your faith and enables you to grow in maturity in the love and grace of God has for us. As we cannot meet together during this times, may we continue to nurture our faith and that of others and to grow in maturity in the love and grace that God has for us and may we share this others, where in most cases this will be over the phone. We are made for love, by love.
In today’s readings, we hear of the baby Moses being nursed and protected, which we know are great motherly characteristics. We also hear of the faith of the women in hiding Moses and preparing a basket for him and for placing him in a place where they knew that some Egyptian women would see him. During this time, may I encourage you all to be good mothers (even the men) nursing and protecting yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbours in practical needs and in keeping faith.
In our reading from St Paul to the church in Corinth, Paul speaks of the consolation and comfort of God our Father that he received through his sufferings. This consolation, another motherly characteristic also, speak of the character of God, like in the words from Isaiah 66:13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”. St Paul also speaks of the mercies of the Father. Both these things, mercies and consolation are connected. As we receive God’s mercy, we also receive his comfort. Let us like Paul ask for God’s mercy, comfort and consolation at this time and pray for these things for our neighbours, our communities in which we live, our nation and our world.
These are actions from God’s maternal love and from his maternal love, he gives us his son, Jesus, our Great high priest, who was tempted just as we are and intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. Let us ask our high priest to guide us safely through these times. Let us cast our anxieties on him and ask him to clothe us through his spirit with kindness, forgiveness, patience, compassion, humility and gentleness.
Let us use this time to go deeper into God’s presence and reflect and act on his words to us in our lives today.
Be good mothers to each other- let us nurse and protect ourselves and our loved ones and to keep our faith, knowing that God has not abandoned us and expect that he will help us, but we may need to be patient like Simeon as he waited for the promised messiah, let us be patient on God to help us and as his children keep our trust in him and in his love, Amen.
Notices & Resources
Keep safe, read your Bibles, read Christian books, pray, sing, get daily exercise and help your neighbour!
You can access morning prayer, evening prayer and compline by the following link:-
You can access daily Biblical reflections through - https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps
The Archbishop of Canterbury will lead the first national virtual Church of England service and broadcast to 39 BBC regional stations in the UK this Sunday.
You can register for the Diocesan weekly Sermon podcasts via:- https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/sermons
Add Bishop John Perumbalath as a friend on Facebook as he will be providing a live stream reflection on Sunday afternoon’s.
Add Chelmsford Cathedral as a friend on Facebook as they will be live streaming their services.
You can access the first Diocesan Lent Lecture and reflections via the following link:-
Soultime – Christian meditation app - https://www.facebook.com/soultimeapp/
All Age Worship – Godventure - https://www.facebook.com/Godventure/
Canon Imogen from Chelmsford Cathedral will be sending out a weekly email with resources to help you during these times of isolation and social distancing. If you would like to subscribe, please go to;
Add Canterbury Cathedral as a Friend on Facebook and Join them online at 12.00 and 17.30 each day for live streams of our Eucharist and Evensong.
A psalm to read and pray during Lent. Psalm 51