Makeovers Second Thoughts

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on makeovers.  Whilst I still stand by what I wrote then, today I want to add to it, because I think there is something about motivation that is worth exploring.

The Bishop of Gloucester started a campaign in 2016 called Liedentity which was looking at the impact pressures on body image were having on young people.

As a society we seem to becoming more concerned with image.  Not helped by the use of Photoshop.  If the purpose of a makeover is to “compete” with this then at one level I would want to say that it is unhealthy.  If we recognise that our identity comes from God, like Justin Welby, then striving to make ourselves something else isn’t helpful.  However, it is a tough ask to require people not to do things which will make it easier to find employment, or get paid more, or make them feel more confident.

The danger, perhaps, is if after all the effort it fails to have the desired impact.

The motherliness of God

Sunday, March 31 is Mothering Sunday, and in our services that day we will celebrate mothers and others who care for us, with posies for everyone.

Mothering Sunday is thought to have begun in the 16th century when, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, people would return to their ‘mother church’ – that is, the local parish church or the church in which they had been baptised, or the nearest cathedral. The practice also began of allowing servants to return to their families on that day so seeing their mothers as well as their mother church.

Lesley Crawley comments: “On Mothering Sunday we celebrate mothers and those who care for us, remembering and praying for our own mothers. We also know that this day can be a difficult one for those who have lost their mothers, for those who have lost or cannot have children, and for those who have not had a good relationship with their mothers, and we offer them our support and prayers too.

“God is usually referred to as ‘father’ – in part a reflection of the time and patriarchal culture in which the Bible was written – but there are certainly references to the ‘motherliness’ of God in the Bible, such as this one in the Book of Isaiah: ‘As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you’. Christians believe in an all-loving God who loves us even more than a human mother could. Please do join us on March 31 at any of our services and celebrate and receive this love.”

Click here for some practical ideas from the Church of England for celebrating Mothering Sunday.

The altar frontal at Chelmsford Cathedral made by Creators (Cathedral School youth group). Picture by fourthandfifteen (