Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mothering Sunday article for the St Martin's Church Newsletter

Although today should properly be called Mothering Sunday, a day when traditionally people went back to their mother Church, nowadays we use the day to celebrate all mothers.

In the Bible not all mothers are named but undoubtedly all of the male characters in the Bible had mothers who passed on their strength to their offspring. Yet there are quite a few who are named and who are personal favourites of mine.

The first is Jochebed, the mother of Moses. She was of the tribe of Levi and had had a son at the time when Pharaoh had decreed that all male Jewish babies should be killed. She had the strength to hide the boy for three months before entrusting the boy to God’s protection and placing him in a basket to float on the Nile. The rest is well known, Pharaoh’s daughter found him and named him and then entrusted him back to his real mother.

Next is Hannah, a woman who suffered much because she was unable to have children. This was thought of as a punishment from God because the woman had sinned against him. Yet Hannah prayed fervently to God to allow her to have a son. As part of the agreement she made she pledged to give her son into God’s service. Think of the courage and strength she had to display when the time came for her to give her son, Samuel, over to Eli to enter into God’s service.

We are all aware of the amazing strength of Mary, mother of Jesus, who had faced the shame of being pregnant while still single and then the pain of seeing her beloved son put to death most terribly. Yet, what of Mary’s mother? How did she cope with her daughter’s pregnancy?  How did she cope with her grandson’s fame and subsequent execution? I would suggest that she gave much support to her daughter and her family. Another strong woman passing her strength on to her daughter. Her name was Anne and, incidentally, the name of my home-village church is St. Anne’s.

God bless.

John