Mothering Sunday was celebrated last week at Ashley Methodist Church with a service of worship led by Mr Peter Williams who was welcomed by our steward Keith Harrison. As this is the Season of Lent, Keith laid a bowl and a cloth at the foot of the wooden cross with the words “Jesus showed his caring as he washed his disciples feet”. Peter opened the service with a call to worship before we sang our opening hymn “We have a gospel to proclaim, good news for all throughout the earth.” Neil and Jill Barnett provided our music on organ and keyboard.

After our prayers of thanksgiving, praise and confession, Peter spoke about motherhood on this special Sunday and asked the question “What was it like to be Mary, the mother of Jesus?” She knew the baby boy was the Lord of all Nations and was to become the Saviour of the World. Peter described motherhood as a God given gift and what a joy it is to celebrate this gift on this special day.

Jill Harrison read our morning’s bible reading from John 12, verses 20-33 telling the story of Greeks seeking out Jesus and his foretelling of the suffering he was about to endure proceeding his death on the cross. We said prayers for others in the world and near at home.

In his sermon Peter spoke of the many paradoxes in the Christian doctrine and gave illustrations of this in the teachings of Jesus. In this passage from John’s gospel Jesus teaches us that the way to life is to die to self. The sermons of Jesus were open ended and he illustrated this statement by describing how a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain until it is dropped in the ground and dies. If it does die then it produces many grains, and whoever loves his life will lose it but whoever has no regard for his own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. For Jesus “the hour has now come for the Son of Man to be glorified” he said as he prepared himself for the cross, and we were led into thought of the events on Good Friday. Peter reminded us that there are no short cuts to the way of the cross.

At the close of the service the Junior Church gave a sprig of Easter daffodils to the mothers and fathers in the congregation to commemorate Mothering Sunday.