Reflection for Mothering Sunday

by Canon Vyv Wainwright

Jess is looking forward to being a Mum. Over the last few weeks, she has been given maternity leave and has been able to progress through her GCSE ‘Being a Mum’ modules. She has found the course to be useful and interesting covering topics such as Giving Birth, Giving Birth in a birthing Pool and Giving Birth in a Birthing Pool whilst listening to Metallica, something which Tom her husband thinks is brill.

Today though she has noticed that the latest modules have been landing in her email in box and well they seem to have changed now from topics such as changing nappies, feeding baby and reading bed time stories to your child to topic titles which have suddenly made her think. For example, one module is simply called Sleep. Having read it through she is a bit disturbed as it talks about ‘the value of having at least 30 seconds of sleep each week, if you can’. And then another module is called Developing International Peace and Diplomacy skills with your child and not to forget the last one to arrive called Dealing with your Mother in Laws opinions on bringing up children. Now somehow, the gloss of being a Mum is starting to wear off a bit. Better call Tom she thinks.

Jesus had just finished having a rant to his Mum about Tom having his doubts and well he was seriously fed up about it. Mary though looks loving at her little boy aged 29 having a dreamy moment of thinking of how he has grown and developed. How she remembers him as a tiny baby there in the stable, shepherds and lambs popping in, a happy Mrs Inn Keeper not to forget those really interesting academic types who tipped up with some lovely and well, interesting gifts. A casserole and nappies would have been good but hey if you have some spare gold well that is most kind.

And now here is a fine young man. And what a kind one and well interesting one as well she adds. Jesus has kindly taken the wall down between the dining room and kitchen and popped a new kitchen in for her. Joseph would be so happy to see this but alas. The only dilemma they have is about a breakfast bar and should it have a cupboard beneath it or drawers maybe but then of course they need room for a tub for rubbish so oh dear what to do?

Jesus loves his Mum. Best Mum ever as far as he is concerned. She has looked after him, taught him his prayers, took him to school, very supportive when he was working for Joseph making rafters, doors and skirting boards but being supportive of him when he heard about John preaching in the wilderness and allowing him to drop everything and go and listen to his cousin. And then of course everything had changed and the Spirit led him to baptism and then out into the wilderness to begin an amazing ministry as Mum said.

And she had been there for him. Always tagging along. Listening to everything he said and chipping in occasionally with “Are you sure about that dear?” What more could he ever need?

For Mary though it has been amazing journey as well. She will never forget her Mum asking her who the dishy bloke in the back garden was the night that Gabriel came to tell her that she was going to give birth to the Messiah. Oh how over joyed and overcome, well almost, she was and then she found herself expressing it all in her song to Gabriel. And for those who heard that song were really moved if not excited as well. At last, there was hope.

As Jess will tell you being a Mum is actually a great joy but not every day and not every second as well darling baby does love to scream the house down if tea is not served on demand. She and Tom would love a bit of sleep. Yet she has been blessed by wise words from her Mum and even dare she add Mother-in-Law as well.

She is grateful for developing new skills such as cooking tea, emptying the washing machine as well as receiving a delivery at the door whilst her sister is gassing away to her on the phone all that the same time as you can imagine.

John draws Mary to him with a hug. It is a horrid moment but John knows that Jesus has asked him to love and care for his Mum. And that is what John knows he will do. The sky is turning black and Mary slumps to the ground sobbing and whaling as you would only expect but John is there for his new Mum.

And so surely are we. Surely, we are there for our Mum’s who helped us scrub our teeth, wash behind our ears, helped build our Roman forts for that school project the day before they are due in, cheered us on even when we came fourth but have always been there. It is not everyone’s experience it has to be admitted and it has not always been flowers and chocolates for Mum for some.

Yet let us give thanks today for those who have loved us and blessed us on our way. Let us give thanks for those who have wiped our faces with a hanky, combed our hair (or what is left of it) and kissed us and sent us on in the journey of this life. Let us thank God for their love and care and pray that we can care for and also cherish them in our hearts.

Thank you, God for our Mums, and all those who have cared for us throughout our lives. Amen.