A Short Talk for Mother’s Day – March 22 2020
A Short Talk for Mother’s Day – March 22, 2020
Exodus 2:1-10 : Moses’ mother leaves him in the basket
John 19: 25b-27 : Jesus makes sure his mother is cared for
This Sunday is Mothering Sunday, and we are commemorating it in possibly the most trying of circumstances that the church and country has faced in many decades.
For many of us today, even if we are near to our mothers, we simply cannot reach out and love them as we want to. Never before has the country had to dig so deep into its creativity and “long distance love”.
So, forgive the lack of daffodils and chocolates, the outward expressions of our appreciation, let’s look at the deeper symbolism of this time.
The two readings are interesting. They speak of loving sacrifice :-
- Moses’ mother, giving up her baby, with amazing results
- Jesus’ priorities, looking after his mother as he sacrifices himself for mankind.
Moses’ mother models, very beautifully, the act of putting her own feelings and needs last, and prioritising the life of her baby. It is the model of human altruism, a picture of motherly love, and a beautiful selfless act. It says, “My pain is worth it, for your well being”. From that act of selflessness comes a mighty leader, who not only achieved the liberation of the Hebrew people, but led them to the Promised Land, from which the Messiah would be born. Not only was the baby Moses saved, but the baby Jesus enabled, from whom the salvation of the world was achieved. All from the sacrificial act of a loving mother.
God reminds us that his love for us is even greater than this :
Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
Jesus on the cross models something equally profound. At the most decisive moment in all human history, as God incarnate dies on the cross for humanity, he shows that nothing trumps our care and love for one another.
1 John 4:7-8 says “7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Jesus models that by making sure his mum is looked after. For him, relationships are everything, and nothing trumps them. One might forgive him for having other things on his mind, but he ensures that Mary is left in the care of John. Jesus knew that no-one was more wretched in those times than childless and the widowed, and the fate of his mother mattered to him every bit as much as his impending death. We see the ordinary and the immediate in perfect harmony with the extraordinary and the eternal.
For us we can :
- Remember the love of the mother and enact to each other all the more in these troubled times
- Recall the love of God as our father to us, and how perfect it is
- Enact that same motherly love to those people around us, all the more in this troubled time.
The love that confronts us in the bible is agape love, the love that wants the very best for the other. This, like the love of a mother for her baby, is needed now more than ever before.