Canon Paul Hardingham considers our appreciation of mothers:
Mothering Sunday is a day of mixed emotions. For many it’s a happy, joyous day; for others it’s one of pain and grief; day to celebrate love, while acknowledging those who cannot have children or have lost them and those who have no relationship with their mother.
In the dying moments of His life, Jesus honoured Mary His mother by showing her love and care. He entrusted His mother to John’s protection: ‘When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home’ (John 19:26,27). While affirming the importance of mothers, Jesus reminds us that the love we show on Mothering Sunday is just a token of our continuous appreciation of them.
Jesus also creates a new way of being family, marking the beginnings of the church. In the past, people would go back to their ‘mother’ church on this Sunday, to acknowledge its importance in their lives. Jesus invites us into this new family of love and mutual belonging, where we can find a place, irrespective of our own family circumstances.
Church is not always an easy place to be, because we are shaped by our own experience of mothering. We may find it hard to give or receive love without ourselves getting in the way. However, God’s help is available to change things, ‘because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’ (Romans 5:5)
The mother of three difficult youngsters was asked whether she’d have children if she had it to do over again. ‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘But not the same ones.’
This month’s “Pew Picture” is a photograph of the Box Pews in Holy Trinity Church, Bronington.