Spring is such a lovely time.
A time of change, new life and growth, coupled with the hope of summer. After such a wet winter, I’m sure you are all longing, like me, for some bright, dry, sunny days. It is lovely to see the signs of new life around us – crocuses, daffodils, the first new lambs.
Easter is about new life. As we journey through Lent, we journey towards the cross, and Jesus’ death. The cross, that age-old symbol of Christian faith. So important in Christianity, so important in our lives, but the cross does not tell the full picture. Yes, it shows us a God whose love stretched out his arms, whose love goes even to the depths of the grave and beyond; but it is the resurrection, the empty tomb that we see on Easter Sunday, that reminds us of, and offers us, new life and new hope. Death is not the end. New life, fullness of life, now and into eternity, is offered through Jesus Christ.
During Lent and Easter we offer a variety of services in our churches, each marking or celebrating a different part of the Easter story. Details of those services are found elsewhere in the magazine so please do look out for them. We also continue our Lent Talks Series at St Marks, Newnham on the book of the Psalms. Do come along on Wednesday evenings, at 7.30pm as we explore what the psalms are, singing the psalms, lament and suffering in the psalms and praise in the psalms.
On Sunday 11th March, in the middle of Lent, it is Mothering Sunday, a church festival. This church festival grew up from the practice of allowing servants to return home on the middle Sunday of Lent, enabling them to attend their ‘mother’ church with their whole family. Often, they would gather wild flowers on their way home. These older traditions have, more recently, become blended with the more modern Mothers’ Day, a day to take time to thanks and show appreciation for our mothers – and perhaps give them flowers! In church, we rather blend the two, to celebrate mothering but also the wider care that the church and other people often show to individuals and the ways we see ‘mothering’ even in God. Mothers’ day can be a day of great joy for some, but also a day of pain and sadness for others, given our different life experiences and circumstances. We try and acknowledge this in church by remembering that care and love is shown, first of all by God to all, but then also by different people in different ways – through all sorts of connections, biological and other.
This Mothering Sunday, we will have a family service in Grantchester at 10.30am. Please come along, perhaps to give thanks, perhaps to acknowledge sadness, perhaps to remember the special people in your own life but also to be reminded of the God who loves us. In addition, we have a children’s event the day before, Saturday 10th March. We will be having a Mothering Sunday craft afternoon from 3pm – 4.30pm at 55 Bridle Way. Come along and make something for your mum, or for someone else who cares for you – and maybe something to share with the wider church.
And then of course, do look out for other services and events in Lent, Holy Week and Easter across both churches (Newnham and Grantchester). You are very welcome to any or all of them. We then celebrate Easter on Sunday 1st April. So, whether you have been a churchgoer for years, not been for a long time, or have rarely visited a church, you are very welcome this Lent, Easter and beyond, as we travel together, explore together and live together the life offered by God through Jesus Christ.
The Rev Rachel Rosborough