For many people will be a peculiar day for all sorts of reasons;
Regular church goers will be missing their Sunday services - not just because for the religious and spiritual conent, but also meeting up with friends. I've not been a regular churchgoer this year - one of my Lent Resolutions was to go every Sunday. cue laughter all round.
Many will be feeling strange because they are not visiting their mothers, or having to just wave at them, hand over a card, and go without giving them a hug or a kiss. My own mother died four years ago, and my god mother died before Christmas. I miss them, but I'm also glad not to be worrying about them now. My children gave me my present and cards when they came last Sunday so I haven't gone without!
I'll be joining with the church fellowship countrywide in putting a candle in the window at 7pm. A battery candle. I don't think it will help matters if all the Christians set fire to their curtains this evening in an effort to promote a call to prayer.
This is the candle we bought my godmother for Christmas several years ago, because she loved candles, but at 90 years old she didn't trust herself with real ones any more. When I picked it up from the corner of her sideboard while clearing her house (she died last year), I was astonished to see how worn the remote control had become - a small gesture on our part had meant far more to her than I had thought. I was touched that such a small gift from us could hold so much meaning for her.
Anyway, Lent Inspirations;
I'm offering the Collect for the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity as my 'Inspiration' for this week;
LORD, we pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
When I first encountered this prayer, I thought it absurd that we should ask God to prevent, or thwart, everything we try and do. It was much later that I discovered the older meaning of 'prevent', as explained by Dr Peter Toon
Here we use a verb Prevent whose meaning in this context is the old one to anticipate, to forestall, to be beforehand with.
(taken from The Prayer Book Society website.)
So this is a prayer that we may be surrounded by God's Grace, and that this will which will make us continually given to all good works.
I think we shall all have cause to be thankful for the good works of people around us, and I hope that I am able to offer 'good works' in my turn.
Prayers for all of us, everywhere, however we have been touched by these peculiar times. ('Peculiar' also had a slightly different meaning in the past... I leave that as an internet rabbit hole for you to disappear into sometime.)