Wednesday 23 March 2022

 Mothering Sunday

We are celebrating Mothering Sunday which falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent this having been decreed in the 17th century when most people went to Church. People would walk to Church, often to the one where they had been baptised, and some would carry flags and banners. Girls in domestic service would be given time off by their employers to visit their mothers, and some would bake simnel cakes as presents.

In the United States President Woodrow Wilson passed an Act of Congress in May 1914 that the 2nd Sunday in May would be known as Mothers Day for the public expression of love and reverence for mothers. This term has been claimed in the United Kingdom rather than our understanding, which emphasises the religious significance.

Let us turn to the Bible as we acknowledge the love for our mothers and as you sit here you will have fond memories of your own dear mother however many years may have passed. However many years have passed since we were in their arms, we will not forget as we acknowledge the love for our mothers, and all they meant to us.

To bear a child is a costly and sometimes very painful act, calling for endurance sometimes beyond the mother herself. Mothering Sunday calls on us to remember it is the giving of oneself. Never should men fail to recognise the courage and dedication women endure to have babies.

God intended women to be mothers, and motherhood to be of the highest calling and endowed them with special gifts. Motherhood is a special privilege and a sacred duty. Abraham Lincoln once remarked that no nation is greater than its mothers, for they are the makers of men. The Rabbis have a saying, ‘God can’t be everywhere so He made mothers.’

The traditional family now is under sustained attack from politicians, socialites, and secularists. We face the ridiculous situation where it is decreed two men can raise children after some unknown woman provides the child by some sordid way. 

A mother's love is special and unique, and God gave woman a special and caring nature for His purpose. An American psychologist stated a child will never come to full development psychologically, without a mother in the home.

The Bible is full of stories of prominent mothers,
Eve who was the first mother

Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth, all who waited for a miracle.

Hagar driven away and disowned.

Rebecca had two sons in a broken family

Rachel wept for her children,

Naomi and Ruth who rose above all the trials of life and turned hard situations into good.

Lois and Eunice, ready to share the love of Christ with their children

Hannah who hurt deeply because she desperately wanted to be a mother, and in her agony she cried out to God. He answered Hannah’s prayer and she literally lent her son back to God, and she made a commitment. Hannah trusted God, and taught Samuel to worship God, rejoicing in the Lord and His salvation. We dearly need mothers to day to teach their children to worship God, preferably by bringing them to Church.

Our most famous mother is of course Mary, a young Jewish girl from whom the emancipation of women began when there appeared to Mary a vision from heaven and she heard the angel’s annunciation of the news that of all the women on earth she was to be the mother of our Lord, the one woman ever to wear entwined the red rose of maternity with the white rose of virginity.

Mary was ready and willing to be looked down upon by all who knew her, for it was shameful for an unmarried woman to have a child in those religious times. Jesus became a baby and grew up, and accorded women with a new dignity so that women like Mary have been loved and respected.

God intended them to be mothers and motherhood to be of the highest calling and endowed them with special gifts. It took the 2oth century in the so-called name of progress and equality, to pull women down to make them like men, and some to be of the coarsest of men.

A mother’s presence in the home is essential, and there has never been a more urgent time when good mothers are needed. I have worked in every social class of society, but have never known a Jewish child get involved in anti-social behaviour or criminal activities. I once asked a Rabbi why he thought this was so, and he told me it was due to the control the Jewish mama has over her family.

When my two sons were growing up my then occupation required me to be away from the home for many long hours, and so much care fell upon my wife. It is to her credit that they both entered the Christian ministry after being youth leaders at their local Church.  Today they are successful Vicars at Churches of their own, where they have been a powerful influence in the Churches they have served.

Spiritual matters should be of concern to mothers. Promises are made at baptism services that children will be brought up in the fellowship of the Church, although few have ever any intention of honouring the promises made.

We need women who will lead their families back to more old style morality, decency and purity. Children are being brought up without any religious knowledge, knowing nothing about Jesus or Biblical characters, even in the homes of whatever class of society.

Salome the mother of James and John sought favour for them from Jesus, to whom she prayed that Jesus would show favour on her sons.  How we need to have mothers praying for their children today.

Mothers continue to care and worry for their children even when they reach adulthood, and stand by them no matter what they do, and even when that is not deserved.

The Bible calls on older women who have an honoured place in society, to play a major part in guiding younger women in the bringing up of children from their years of experience.

We must have concern for women bringing up children in a world where all moral values are being eroded. Theirs is a big responsibility, especially when the nation’s broadcasting system gives out such foul talk and explicit scenes that cause weaker minds to think that is the natural way of life.

Sometimes women are asked on television or radio what their occupation is, and often the reply comes, ‘only a housewife and mother’. There is nothing only, such is an honourable occupation.

At this point we ought to remember all those women who do not have children, and may be feeling distress today when presents of chocolates and etc are being passed. Some have chosen not to be mothers, rather preferring to follow a career and contribute much to society. Other women through physical or medical reasons cannot be mothers, and our prayers must be for them. We also grieve for mothers who have lost a child. Whilst we may cherish memories of our mothers, some will not have such pleasant thoughts.

May God bless all mothers and those longing to be mothers.

I close my words to you by asking you join in mind with me in this prayer.

Loving God, we thank you for our mothers, for all they meant, for the love they showed and care given; for their patience understanding and kindness We thank you for the part they played in our lives and we ask that the Biblical mothers who we have thought of may be an encouragement for women everywhere.

We pray for those for whom this is a difficult time, one of heartache other than celebration; for those who long to be a mother, yet have no children of their own’; for those whose children have failed or abandoned them.

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