God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 581.2
This article has been adapted from Wikipedia and Church Times
What is Mothering Sunday and Origins?
17 MARCH 2023
The “story takes place on Mother’s Day in 1924. Fir Mr. and Mrs. Evan give their housekeeper, Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young), the day off, as the couple are set to go to their neighbour’s house to celebrate his engagement. The truth is Jane and the neighbour, Paul, have been having an affair for many years.“
Release date: 12 November 2021 (UK)
Director: Eva Husson
Story by: Graham Swift
Screenplay: Eva Husson, Alice Birch
Cinematography: Jamie Ramsay
Based on: Mothering Sunday; by Graham Swift
“Mothering Sunday is a day honouring mother churches, the church where one is baptised and becomes “a child of the church”, celebrated since the Middle Ages in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries on the fourth Sunday in Lent. On Mothering Sunday, Christians have historically visited their mother church—the church in which they received the sacrament of baptism.“
“Constance Adelaide Smith revived its modern observance beginning in 1913 to honour Mother Church, ‘mothers of earthly homes’, the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus), and Mother Nature. It gained popularity in response to the originally American Mother’s Day. The holiday is often known as “Mother’s Day” in the United Kingdom, and has become a secular celebration of mothers and motherhood.”
“TRINITY SUNDAY is often regarded as presenting the theme most likely to trip up the preacher; but Mothering Sunday now comes a close second. There are signs, too, that the pulpit pitfalls of the Fourth Sunday of Lent are multiplying. The patristic Church expended quantities of intellectual energy and odium on Trinitarian doctrine, seeking to avoid dangerous wrong turns.“
Although today’s preacher may have a heresy-hunter or two to contend with, the stakes are lower, at least in personal terms. The tendency of wise preachers is, however, to reticence, in the awareness that God-talk has its limitations, and all is mystery.“
“Mothering Sunday, on the other hand, has evolved from custom rather than councils and creeds. No one has yet been burnt for it, but that is not to be relied on: in our day, the awareness of mystery has been transferred with vehemence on to categories of sex and gender, questions that mothering raises, and it has been widely, but not uncontentiously, concluded that complexity was in the past wrongly neglected. This is to say nothing of the reality that remarks about mothers based on experience not universally shared may not get the hoped-for reception.”
It is a Sunday more in need than most of a rethink and a return to tradition, not least because the emphasis on human motherhood is a creature of the century that lies behind us, however much it may, or may not, be distantly rooted in the custom of apprentices’ visiting their mothers with gifts. The initiative several years ago to make more, religiously, of Father’s Day, a kind of Fathering Sunday, has not really caught on, unsurprisingly, although it was a brave bid for recognition that fatherhood was a subject that required thoughtful attention after a period of social change.
Yet the historic liturgical provision for Lent 4 has something different from all this at its core, which is refreshment (hence another traditional name for this Sunday). This is, perhaps, a safer theme than our Mother the Church, unless painful contemporary scandals are to be addressed. As for “Jerusalem . . . the mother of us all”, that passage about the two covenants requires some care after historical developments that Paul’s generation could not have imagined.
The emphasis on the divine relief of human hunger for both sustenance and mercy is, however, one that places God at the centre and presents an opportunity to celebrate the household of faith in a way that dodges some of the nerve endings of a prickly generation. It may even involve a simnel cake, however strongly individuals object to marzipan.