Collect and Readings for Mothering Sunday – The Fourth Sunday of Lent – Exodus 2:1-10, 1 Samuel 1:20-28, Psalm 34:11-20, Psalm 127:1-4, 2 Corinthians 1.3-7, Colossians 3:12-17 Luke 2:33-35, John 19:25-27 The Prayer for todayGod of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Both Moses and Samuel were marked and chosen to be spokesmen of God, and today we see the love their mothers have for them; love that extends to the letting go but is in no way an abandoning or cutting-off.
And in the Gospel, we see another side of motherhood, just as real and recognisable. It is the path of shared suffering which all parents will relate to. However old we or they get, our mothers still suffer our hurts with us. Jesus shows such loving care as he gives Mary and John one another to love and look after.
One of the greatest gifts God gives us in this life is one another. Together we walk through years, learning to listen and scold, to encourage and forgive; learning to give and accept, to protect and let go; learning the responsibility of helping those dependent on us and the humility of enforced and unwelcome dependence on others.
And through all of it God gives the companionship and the joy of humans loving one another. There is a place for mothering in all relationships, including, of course, God's relationship with us.
Some things to reflect upon:
What examples in the Bible can you think of which show the mothering nature of our parent God?
What good can come out of shared suffering?
What can block this?
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson