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Mothering Sunday



Mothering Sunday. It’s a strange word isn’t it…mothering…other than as a title for this 4th Sunday of Lent it’s most common use is probably a negative one “Oh stop mothering me!” It can be aimed at anyone – man, woman or non-binary. It isn’t someone’s gender that indicates whether or not they can ‘mother’ another person it is their propensity for caring.

Even according to the Collin’s Dictionary the definition for the verb to mother, doesn’t mention women… it says ‘to treat someone with great care and affection, to nurture, to protect or to raise’.

As Christians we are raised in our faith.

In this regard, many Christians owe as much to the church community as to their physical parents – maybe more.

Each of us is at a different point in the development of our faith, in our understanding of what it means to believe in and follow Christ.

Whatever your individual path is in faith there will be a number of people who have helped you get to where you are in your belief that Jesus Christ is God who, as the perfect human, enables you to receive the forgiveness and grace of God through his death and resurrection. In other words there will be a number of people who help you understand and accept that God loves you no matter what.

Sometimes that can be a really hard thing to grasp so it is good to have people who can help you in that. Those people who care about you and your faith …who mother you in our shared faith, as part of a mothering community.

Our scripture today is all about being a mothering community…about showing our caring side to those around us.

In the passage from Exodus we heard how someone with status helped the child of someone who was oppressed by authority.

Moses mother and sister had no-where to turn…I can think of many situations like that in the world today…how could they keep the baby boy away from the soldiers who would be sent to kill him. So desperate were they that they risked his life to save it. By recalling the stories of the past – of Noah – they built an ark and set him off on the waters. They prayed for his survival. Their prayers were answered and they even got to physically care for him too.

Pharoah’s daughter, who found the ark, recognized the boy as a Hebrew – probably because he was circumcised – so she knew he was condemned by her own father. But something in her made her care for him. She risked her reputation, perhaps even her life, and even gave of her own money to help raise him because she couldn’t do it herself.

Both Moses mother and Pharoah’s daughter gave something over that they couldn’t do themselves. Both show that sometimes mothering means making the most difficult decisions and trusting God in those choices.

In the gospel we heard how even as he was in the most excruciating agony on the cross Jesus cared for others. He ensured that his mother would be looked after. In the ancient near middle east a widowed mother was looked after by her son so when Jesus died, Mary could have been left destitute without this arrangement.

A moment of pure mothering love. Another example of giving over to another’s care.

Mothering Sunday gives the church an opportunity to think about, and thank, all those people who guide and care, who nurture and then let go for the benefit of others. And as St Paul said in his letter to the Colossians – done in the name of the Lord Jesus.


  • Who jumps into your mind when you think about the people who were there in the early stages of you finding out about Jesus? Try and name them and thank God for them.
  • What were the things they did that helped you get your own sense of what Christ means to you? Can you find ways to help others grow in faith…can you mother them?
Page last updated: Tuesday 7th March 2023 11:11 AM
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