May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN
At special days like Mothering Sunday reading the Gospel accounts of incidents in the life of Jesus can bring us into remembrance of Mary, Jesus' mother and the effect His coming had on Her life. We can though sometimes miss the good work done by so-called ordinary mums in bringing up their children.
So at this time I'd like to consider all the godly mothers in the Church who bring up their children in the fear and worship of God. Unlike Mary who found herself at the centre of a maelstrom of events the mothers I'm celebrating today are most times in the background training their charges to love God and exhibit His attributes of generosity, being a blessing to others and of self-sacrifice when needed. And whose lives and attitudes should be an encouragement to all.
To give an example to illustrate these mothers in our congregations today , let's look at John, Chapter 6, verses 5 to 11.
John 6:5-13 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denariia worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.
Now let's look at the possible back-story to to this scripture together and see if we can discern what God may have observed..
First of all, 'do you think that this boy was likely to be the only person who brought a packed lunch'? There were 5000 men, plus women and children so possibly about 10,000 people overall. 'Is it likely in such a large crowd that he was the only one'? To me it seems more likely that mums being mums, many would have given their children something to eat!
Many families live for themselves only though and what they have is for them to hang on to!
You know the saying – 'Get all you can; can all you get; and then sit on the can!
One mother had brought her son up differently though. Like all the godly mums in this church he was taught to consider others as well as himself. This one boy had been brought up by his mum to give and not just take and was willing to sacrifice his lunch for the good of others!
Because his mother had taught him well, his action led to a miracle.
We can discern here, if we have eyes to see, that the mother in the background is the unsung heroine of the piece. She may not have been mentioned in dispatches, but we know that God noticed, helped her along the way and rewarded her efforts on behalf of her son and put him in the bible!
We can asks who is his godly mum?
She is the one who spends hours at home teaching godly traits to her children?
She tells them stories of the heroes and heroines of the bible to raise their imaginations to the heights of godliness?
she inculcates the characteristics of God as ethics by which to live?
She reads them passages from the bible to build their faith in God?
She is a godly mother who raises godly children whom God can use mightily.
So to all the godly mums in our congregations, who sometimes think that their hard work nurturing the next generation is not noticed, I want to say...
We do notice. Even more importantly, God notices, always.
God loves you and your family. And will richly bless.