Already it is Lent 4, otherwise known as Mothering Sunday, or in most card shops now, much to my annoyance, ‘Mothers’ Day’. The other name for this Sunday is ‘Refreshment Sunday’. The vestments worn at the Eucharist may be pink – in the instructions (not from the Church of England who don’t give out instructions like this) it should not be an ‘effeminate pink’ so that really creates something of a debating point as to what non-effeminate pink looks like. And anyway, its not only men wearing them, so any pink will do as far as I’m concerned (not that we have such vestments at Southwark Cathedral). But the reason for the pink is to give a little relaxation from the serious and stately purple that we have been wearing so far and to which we have to return next week.
But the main reason for the idea of this ‘refreshment’ is that we are now over half way through the season of Lent and before the main push through Passiontide and Holy Week to Easter Day, we need to take a breath, take stock and then move on.
The focus does really begin to turn towards those events for which so far we have been preparing spiritually. A journey lies before us and so today I have issued an invitation, to join me on the journey – ‘Calvary Bound’. It’s a title that deliberately picks up on what I was doing in the run up and over Christmas, when with Mary and Joseph we were ‘Bethlehem Bound’. The invitation now however is to walk with Jesus and to do so following the pattern of the Stations of the Cross, which take us from the Judgement Hall to Calvary and then to the tomb and Easter Day. It is a journey that countless pilgrims make every day as they walk the Via Dolorosa. But just because we can’t be there on that road, physically, actually, we can be there virtually, in our imagination, in our prayer and we can make the journey together in the virtual communities that we are able to form nowadays.
So I invite you to accept the invitation by joining the group who will be making the journey. I would love to share the journey with you. Follow this link here where you can find out how to join in this journey.
It’s a road well travelled, a road of sorrows, of pain, and people walk their own ‘via dolorosa’ in life. So to be ready we need to enjoy this moment of refreshment as we prepare to take up the cross and follow, until together we are Calvary Bound.
whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.