Thoughts for Mothering Sunday, March 2020 written by Janet Collins
Many of us will have given gifts to our Mothers on this day. They will have been given and received with joy and pride and the memory cherished.
But today’s readings give us a command. Something that we must do and that is to HONOUR our parents. To treat them with love and respect as the important people that they are in our lives, which of course means different things at different stages of our lives.
When we are young to honour means to OBEY. That is doing what our parents ask of us, in their timings and without answering back and arguing. We read in Luke’s Gospel ch 2 v 51 Jesus was obedient to his parents. So we see from His behaviour what God expects from us.
But it isn’t all one way; as parents we are expected to be “Godly” and not harsh with our children, modelling God to our children through our parenting showing the qualities of goodness, faithfulness, truth, love, patience and trust.
Does this change as we grow into adulthood?
As we become older we honour our parents by showing them RESPECT and by LISTENING to them before we make our own decisions. We recognise the wisdom that they have gained over the years, and difficult as it is sometimes we have to acknowledge , that they do have the wisdom and experience of age! However we have to recognise that even we are not perfect and we all need to ask for forgiveness at some time. The story of the Prodigal Son demonstrates this so well. A head strong, selfish youth gets into all sorts of trouble, before returning to his home. A place where he is welcomed with open arms, loved and forgiven. Respect and Listening in abundance along with Forgiveness.
Another reminder that honouring is not a one way process. Looking to God’s example we all have a great deal to learn.
And what about the older adults?
As adults we are no longer dependent on our parents and the emphasis changes.
The tables are turned and we are more involved in meeting their appropriate needs, with all the pressure of meeting their demands along with the demands of our own growing family.
Even Jesus handed his mother into another’s (John’s) care. He honoured her with the best he could give. The gift of loving care and even in her hour of greatest need as she stood at the foot of the cross she knew that her Son was honouring her. A gift that she cherished with pride that carried her through those difficult days.
So today , as we thank God for our parents and especially our Mothers.
We ask for forgiveness for ourselves, for the times when we have not honoured them and for the times when they have not honoured us
We thank them for their love and support and try to understand when this has not been available to us.
We ask for patience and encouragement when relationships are difficult .
And we ask you to bless our Mothers, especially today, surrounding them with your love and comfort.