Mothering Sunday Sermon
posted by: Joan Vine | on: Sunday, 14 March 2021, 20:31
The fourth Sunday in Lent - Mothering Sunday - when the gospel reading for the day remembers Mary, the mother of our Lord as today we remember our own mothers or those who have ‘mothered’ us.
We only hear about Mary at the beginning and end of Jesus’ life and even less do we hear about Joseph, his earthly father; the two who cared for him during his early life.
There are several mothers who stand out for us in the bible, as well as Mary, and two are from the Old Testament. The mother of Moses, whose name we never hear, but who hides him from the cruelty of Pharaoh. If she hadn’t hidden and cared for him for three months, Moses wouldn’t have lived - and history would have been changed. Also, Hannah, Samuel’s mother, who through her life of prayer, was granted her greatest wish, a son. God answered her prayers and as she had promised him, when Samuel was old enough, she gave him back to serve with Eli in the temple.
Mary said ‘yes’ to God, giving birth to our Saviour and I don’t think we can begin to imagine what or where we’d be if she hadn’t been willing to obey God, with all the joy and sorrow it brought her.
Although we especially remember our mothers today, we should also remember all those who have nurtured our faith through the Mother church and give thanks for all we learn and enjoy through that caring and support. Back in the 16th century, Mothering Sunday began as a religious event with no connection to mothers but referred to the mother church. It then traditionally became the day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants in the local ‘big house’ or local farm, were given the day off to visit their mother and family; probably for the first time in a year. Work was hard and they were probably on low wages, perhaps only receiving their keep, so no doubt they missed their homes and the care they had received from their mothers. They wouldn’t have any spare money so maybe picked wild flowers on their way home or if they were very lucky, they’d been allowed to make a small cake in the kitchen where they worked, to take home as a ‘thank you’. We can only imagine the joy they and their mothers felt at being reunited and perhaps we feel like that this year, having been unable to visit our own mothers during the pandemic. What joy it will be for those who are able to visit mothers and fathers when we come out of lockdown. If our mothers aren’t still alive, we can still have the joy of remembering all they did for us during our lives, but – we must also remember all those who have cared and nurtured us during our lives, giving thanks for them too.
In the gospel reading, we hear Jesus, who was dying on the cross, show his care and concern for his mother, who was standing watching his suffering, about what would happen to her in the future. Often when people are suffering, they can only think about themselves but he didn’t, his only concern was for her care as he turned to the only disciple who had stayed with him – John – who he told to treat Mary as his mother, taking her into his family.
This reminds us that we all, as Christians, belong in one family and we should care about each other; loving each other as mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.
Today, as we give special thanks for our mothers, we remember too, to give thanks for all who have shown kindness in their care, guidance and protection during our lives.
Kindness is one of the characteristics we expect from our mothers or anyone who cares for us and is one of the characteristics of God’s people. In the reading from Colossians, Paul tells us that God has made us a holy people. He suggests the way to help us live for God, day by day; telling us that since God chose us to be a holy people whom he loves, we must clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. In verse 17 he advises “whatever you do or say, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God our Father through him”.
Everything we do should honour God and as Christians, we represent Christ at all times – wherever we go, whatever we say or do.
Are we able to imitate his compassionate, forgiving nature and let love guide our life?
What impression do people have of us when they see or talk to us?
What changes could we make in our lives in order to honour Christ?
Today, we rejoice in the love of our mothers, may we as we walk with Christ, reflect kindness, compassion, justice and humility to all we meet, in his name. Amen - Judith Meaden
Posted: 14 Mar 2021 | There are 0 comments
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