Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!

Mothering Sunday
March 30, 2012, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Sermons

A sermon preached at All Hallows, Easton, Sunday morning, March 18th 2012

The reading we have just listened to is about when Jesus was a baby. Mary and Joseph brought him to God’s House in Jerusalem, to give thanks for his birth. Nowadays, Mums and Dads do something a bit like that when they bring their babies to God’s House to be christened. They want to say “thank you” to God for their child. They want to say to our heavenly Father, “We want this child, which you have given us to care for, to always be your child. We want to teach her (or him) to know you as a loving Father. We ask you to help us to care for our child.” I’m sure Mary and Joseph had thoughts very like this too.

As Jesus grew up, he knew that he was loved and cared for. Mary cooked his meals, she made and mended his clothes, she taught him about his Father in heaven. Joseph taught him to work with his hands, and in many other ways showed him what a Father’s love ought to be. But when Jesus was still young, Joseph died and there were only Jesus and Mary to look after one another. You can imagine, can’t you, how special they must have been to one another.

In a few weeks time, we shall be thinking about how Jesus, when he was grown up, was treated cruelly by his enemies, and let down by his friends. On Good Friday, Jesus himself died. But before he died, one thought was in his mind: “Who will look after my dear mother, Mary, when I am gone?” In today’s reading, old Simeon told Mary that sorrow would pierce her heart like a sword: as Jesus was dying, that prophecy came true.

Together with Mary and some other women, only one of Jesus’s special friends had the courage to stay by the Cross, and that was they youngest one, John. Jesus looked at Mary and said, “Let John be a son to you.” He looked at John and said, “Look after my mother as if she was yours.” And John did.

Today is Mothering Sunday. Today we all thank God for our mothers, whether they are still looking after us, or whether they have already gone to be with Jesus. They have loved us, fed us, clothed us and taught us things we need to know. The little posies that we shall bless, and the cards, are just a small way to say, “Thank you.” And as we say “Thank you”, or at least as we remember our mothers, if they are not still with us, let us also remember that when Jesus gave his own mother Mary to his friend John, he was giving her to us as well, to be our heavenly Mother. She loves and cares for all Jesus’s friends. Let’s thank God for her, too.

We are all God’s family. In the first reading, St Paul told us what a family should be like, how members of a family should treat one another. We should be kind and gentle, caring for one another, especially when we are in trouble. We should be forgiving when others make mistakes, even when they are not kind and gentle towards us. God our Father in heaven is very patient with us, he never gives up on us, he never stops loving us. Jesus our Friend and Brother never gives up on us, never stops loving us. We must all try to be like him.

The first person on earth who has loved us is our mother. She was almost certainly the first person who knew we were on the way, even before we were born. She carried us in herself for months, while we grew big enough to survive in the world, she fed us and looked after us when we were tiny. She put up with our awkwardness when we were teenagers (those of us who have got so far!) Sometimes we may have made her sad. I hope we have sometimes made her proud of us.

Even Jesus could not have come into the world without a mother. So let us all say a big “thank you” to our mothers, and to God for our mothers, including our heavenly mother Mary.

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