in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN
Today is Mothering Sunday and the Gospel reading brings us into remembrance of Mary, Jesus' mother and the effect His coming had on her life.
We were read the scene where Mary at the foot of the cross is witnessing the agonizing death of her oldest son. Since the death of Joseph He's been the head of the family and has always looked after His mum. And He continues to show His love and care for her. She in turn has always had a special place for this special boy!
She taught Him as He grew up. He would have learned His father's trade as a carpenter but he may well have learned even more of his beginnings and his true Father at his mother's side.
She saw the result when he was about 12 and going through His Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem. On the way up as a child, He would have travelled with her. On the way back, as a new adult she would have expected him to travel with his dad and the other men.
Joseph not being his real Father probably thought he'd go back with his mum. When this misunderstanding was realized and they hurried back to Jerusalem, Jesus told them they should have realized He'd be about His Father's business! He'd learned from His mother and now knew His true Father was God! And Mary, his mother, pondered these things in her heart. The upbringing she'd given Him was starting to shape His future!
This is the same for the wonderful mothers in our Church. You are shaping the future of your children by your words every day.
Mary His mother was there when he did His first miracle. In fact she seems to have brought it forward in time and ahead of schedule, as Jesus had told her His time was not yet!
This early tutelage by His mother fitted Him to go on to become the Saviour of the world and led to that scene at the cross.
Unlike Mary who found herself at the centre of a maelstrom of events, the mothers that we celebrate today on Mothering Sunday are most times in the background, training their charges to love God, and let Jesus be their guide. They teach them to exhibit Jesus' attributes of generosity, being a blessing to others and of self-sacrifice when needed.
All of us should at every opportunity we get encourage all the godly mothers in the Church who bring up their children in the fear and worship of God. Their children are our future.
To give a bible example to illustrate the background activities of these mothers in our congregation, let's look at -
John, Chapter 6, verses 5 to 11.
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 lunch'? There were 5000 men, plus women and children; possibly about 10,000 people.
But however many there may have been, they hung on to what they had! They didn't want to share!
It's a pity but some live for themselves only. What they have is for them to keep tightly!
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, she taught him 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 God's way, his action led to a miracle.
We can discern, if we have eyes to see, that the unsung heroine is this boy's mother!
We can ask who is this godly mum? Who are the ones in our church working faithfully in the background?
She is the one who spends time teaching godly traits to her children?
She tells them stories of the heroes and heroines of the bible whom they can be like.
She raises their imaginations to see themselves reaching heights of godliness.
She reads them passages from the bible to build their faith in God?
She teaches them to let Jesus guide them and so live good lives by His grace.
She and all of our mothers is that godly woman who brings up wise and loving children whom God can use mightily.
So to all the godly mums in our congregation, who sometimes think that their hard work is not noticed, I want to say to you...
We do notice. We appreciate what you are doing. Not only us, but so does God.
We know that God loves all of us, but on this day we acknowledge how God loves and cares for mothers and their families.
Today on this Mothering Sunday we celebrate all our Mothers.