Summary: A short talk given on Mothering Sunday to a Church full of visitors, hence the gentle nature of the talk. God loves mothers, and he calls us to pass on the comfort that he gives to us.
It was brought to my attention this week that most mothers hate four-letter words. In a poll conducted by a market research company it was discovered that the most unpopular four-letter words amongst mothers are ‘cook’, ‘wash’, ‘iron’; and my favourite of all: ‘dust’.
An old Jewish proverb says this: ‘God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers’!
Now I know that there are some people who would have liked to have been mothers but have not been able to. I know that there are some people who are still desperately hoping to enjoy motherhood; and I know that there are some people who have been estranged from their mothers; but above all I believe that God values motherhood very highly. God cares deeply about family life. God cares deeply about relationships between mothers and their children, and God wants us to share his passion for mums.
In the first book of the Bible, in Genesis (1:27 CEV) we read that ‘God created humans to be like himself; he created men and women’; and today’s Bible reading opened with these words: ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort’ (2 Cor 1:3).
God is the perfect Heavenly father, but like a perfect mother he is also the God of all comfort.
I’m going to show you some very brief clips from four films. See if you know the names of the four films, but more importantly see which of the four mothers you identify with. Maybe there is something about each of the four mothers that you appreciate.
Clip One: The Railway Children. Mum is facing a long period of parenting on her own and has to tell the children that they have to move house, and will have to play at being poor for a while.
Clip Two: ‘The Incredibles’. Mum uses her superpowers to rescue the children. She tells them not to panic and then immediately panics, and then tells them to pull themselves together or they will be grounded.
Clip Three: ‘Stuart Little’ gets adopted by his new Mum and Dad who later in the film turn out to be fantastic parents.
Clip Four: ‘Shrek the Third’ where, slightly tongue-in-cheek, we meet a loving Mum who is also an ogre!
In verse four of our Bible reading St. Paul writes that ‘[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God’ (2 Cor 1:4). God pours his comfort into our lives and asks that we use that experience to comfort others; and I wonder who God wants you to get alongside as a comforter.
Like the Mum in the Railway Children is there someone in the midst of a period of parenting alone that you could draw alongside?
Many of the Mums in our community really appreciate Christ Church Toddlers on Tuesdays and Fridays. For some of the Mums it a great way for them to start to make new friends. Is God calling you to be part of the team that organises the Toddler group and befriends those who come?
There are also a group of Mums who appreciate our once a month Dads and Toddlers group that meets on a Saturday morning; thank you to the group of men who organise that for us!
Today is a day to celebrate mothers. We’re all the product of a mother and most of them were fantastic mums; and for those of you who are mothers or grandmothers – well done! What a great job you do.