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25 March 2020

St Peter's 13-18

25 March 2020

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It felt very odd at the weekend not to be with my mother on Mothering Sunday. We had a go at talking over FaceTime but it’s somehow not quite the same when the other person is on the other side of a screen.

Festivals that celebrate motherhood have their origins way back in ancient Greek and Roman religions. After the Norman conquest, a tradition started in which people visited their “mother church” and gave thanks as they gathered as a family. These days, we tend to give cards and gifts as a way of saying thank you to those that we depend upon. The point that’s being made is very clear: the people and places that make us feel at home are important and it’s no wonder that we look to return to them often.

With the government’s instructions now to “stay at home,” it gives each of us the chance to ask where “home” is. For many of us, we will be sharing house space with some people that make us feel at home but probably feeling very far away from others.

Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” His words are a reminder that each of us flourish best when we are rooted in love: when we feel comfortable in ourselves and connected to others. We are happiest when we feel at home.

Each of the world’s great religious traditions has looked for ways to help people to feel this way. Spiritual practices offer ways to find individual peace, while sharing in rituals and stories bring a sense of community. Buddhism offers meditation and the Jataka Tales, for Hinduism it’s yoga and the Vedas. For Christians, we have prayer and the Gospels. Finding peace and joy begins with rooting yourself in a community. It begins with feeling at home.

It may feel difficult to be stuck at home at the moment but feeling at home is very precious. So in the days to come, try to find space for yourself and time to be gracious to those you are with. If you are someone who prays, please join me in praying for all in our country who, for whatever reason, feel like home is a long way away.

Shalom always,
Rev'd Daniel Jones, St Peter's School Chaplain