The service took place at Halifax Minster on 6th December, with the Vicar, Canon Hilary Barber, Canon Angela Dick, Mothers’ Union Area Chaplain, and with Bishop Jonathan as Preacher. We were in splendid surroundings at the Minster, with its Christmas Tree Festival, and so we had a wonderful backdrop to our worship. The service was one of readings, reflections, prayers and hymns, during which members brought forward candles and Advent symbols.
Bishop Jonathan’s sermon took Mary as our example, and he reflected upon God’s call on her life. The Bishop pointed out how Mary’s life, which had been so ‘ordinary’ up to the point of that call, was transformed. She became part of a much bigger story –
“And that is what happens when we accept the call of God on our lives. When we hear and respond to that call, we become part of a bigger story – the story of God’s dealings with the world and of how he wants us to play our part within that story.”
We were challenged to face the question of how we ourselves react when God comes knocking on our door, expecting something from us. Perhaps we find it easier to consider what God is saying to others than it is to hear his word to us! These are surely pressing questions for all Christians everywhere, not least for ourselves as members of Mothers’ Union at this time. Are we hearing God’s call? Have we responded to it? And what’s that going to mean for each of us as members?
Much food for thought. (Rev Terry Swinhoe, MU Diocesan Member)