Summary: How do we relate to Mothering Sunday when Corona Virus takes away the cute services with bunches of daffodils?
Hello and welcome and Happy Mothering Sunday. It’s a little bit different from normal Mothering Sunday’s - But….
We are reminded “God is good ALL THE TIME” - and if he is good “all the time” - that includes even now when things are very uncertain
I’d like to share with you a story from the bible - a tale of four mothers.
But first -
Imagine you are three years old. Take yourself back to when you were that little. What does it feel like to be three years old? (long pause).
And if something went wrong - if you have just hurt yourself? Or if you are scared? Who do you run to? You run to your mummy and she gives you a big hug.
This is a very scary time at the moment. We are meant to be the adults - yet there is a bit inside each of us that is still three years old and in these crisis times we want to run to our mummy and she’ll give us a hug and make it all better….
Even if a few of you sadly had poor relationships with your mothers, I think all of us can relate to that longing to run up to someone whose hug will make it all better. So what does that look like in these Corona Virus times?
Lets here from Exodus 2 a tale of four mothers…..
2 1-3 A man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.
4-6 The baby’s older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”
7 Then his sister was before her: “Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?”
8 Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes. Go.” The girl went and called the child’s mother.
9 Pharaoh’s daughter told her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me. I’ll pay you.” The woman took the child and nursed him.
10 After the child was weaned, she presented him to Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses (Pulled-Out), saying, “I pulled him out of the water.” (Message translation)
So four mothers -
(1) Moses’s birth mother
When we think of Mothering Sunday - perhaps we think of little children running down the church aisle to give posies of daffodils to all the mothers in church. Or make cute hand made cards for their mummies before “taking them out to lunch” at a Weatherspoons where the grown up actually is the one who ends up paying. But for many mothers and children around the world, motherhood is not like that. In Idlib or Yemen children don’t get to make cute hand made cards for their mummies - and that does not mean they love their mothers any less.
Moses’s mum - we don’t even know her name - gives birth to her boy - a great and wonderful thing. It ought to be a time when she can celebrate with her friends and have them all come round and coo. Except - not now. A genocidal dictator has decreed that all male babies from her ethnic group are to be killed at birth. She has to hide the fact that she is pregnant - self isolating for nine months? And then for another three months - she hides the babies existence.
Until finally she has to show the ultimate mother’s love - she has to give up her little baby to keep him safe. In the Second World War, Jewish mothers packed their children onto the kinder transport knowing they would never see them again - to keep them safe. In every other conflict, many mothers have had to do the same thing.
Yesterday in the paper I saw some very moving photos of elderly (grand)mothers in a care home holding up sheets of paper with messages for their families. One said “looking forward to seeing you through the window on Sunday. All the messages expressed a deep sense of longing for the family members it was not safe to see - yet all the women were smiling.