Here is the fourth study from our Lent Bible study series. It is to be enjoyed while eating cake and even decorating a cake. Incase you have missed it you might enjoy this reflection for yourself. You can read an introduction to Lent at the bottom of this page. http://www.ehillschurch.com/sundays-february-april-2/

Image from http://invegetableswetrust.com/2013/04/23/gluten-free-almond-topped-jam-swirl-cake/

Introduction:

Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Traditionally it was a day when people could take a break from the seriousness of Lent. Mothering Sunday was also known as refreshment Sunday or pudding pie Sunday because it was the only time in the middle of Lent were the fasting laws were relaxed and you could have a nice meal with your family.

The tradition of calling this particular day Mothering Sunday goes back to Roman times when, as the Christian church spread, there developed the pattern of honouring the church as mother figure. From this, there developed the tradition of children honoring their mothers on this day.

In Europe this became the only day of the year young girl and boy domestic servants were allowed to go home and visit their families. On this day they could go to their family’s church – their mother church where they had been baptised. It was often the only time that whole families could come together.

For some this could be a long journey back home, since their mother may have lived some distance away from where they were put into service. Often the housekeeper or cook would allow the maids to bake a cake to take home for their mother. Sometimes a gift of eggs or flowers from the garden was allowed.

The cake the cook traditionally cooked on this day was Simnel cake which was taken home and saved for Easter morning.

A simnel cake is a fruit cake with a later of marzipan and eleven marzipan eggs on the top. The eggs symbolizing eleven of Jesus’ disciples minus Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.

Reflection:

Read aloud Hosea 11:3-4 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+11%3A3-4&version=NRSV

Invite the Spirit to speak to you as you soak in this scripture on God.

What do you appreciate and admire about God in this passage?

Share your thoughts or pictures.

What title would you give this passage?

Lenten Challenge:

Eat or decorate a cake now and as you do share a way in which church has been like a spiritual family for you. Discuss together and reflect throughout the week on ways we do and can make church a welcoming home for others.

Closing Prayer 

Lord Jesus, preaching good tidings to the people, proclaiming release to the captives, setting at liberty those who are bound:
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, friend of the outcast and the poor, feeder of the hungry, healer of the sick.
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, denouncing the oppressor, exposing the hypocrite, overcoming evil with good.
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, pattern of gentleness, teacher of holiness, prophet of the kingdom of heaven.
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, dying to save us from our sins, rising to give us eternal life, ascending to prepare our heavenly home.
We adore you.