Love which is self-giving & unconditional

Reverend Elisabeth Cranfield  of Methilhill and Denbeath Parish Church
Reverend Elisabeth Cranfield of Methilhill and Denbeath Parish Church

This coming Sunday is Mothers’ Day, so many of you will be looking forward to enjoying breakfast prepared by your children, or to receiving home made cards and gifts, or to be taken out for afternoon tea or to receive flowers.

However children choose to show their appreciation, it is clearly very appropriate that children of any age should find ways to demonstrate their deep gratitude to their mothers, or to remember their mothers with thanksgiving.

Mothers’ Day has become a very popular occasion, partly because we all know most mothers show enormous love and dedication as they bring their children up, often putting their children’s needs above their own, while also trying to ensure their children grow up to be responsible and unselfish citizens.

At its best, a mother’s love is self-giving and unconditional. So it is certainly right that we acknowledge the very significant role mothers play within families and in society.

Mothers deserve both special treats and our life long gratitude.

Saying thank you to mothers for their part in nurturing their children is something the wider community can do to show appreciation of mothers.

It’s also good for us to find ways to recognise and value the significant part that many other people also play in the nurture of children.

Mothers’ Day, or Mothering Sunday, is always the fourth Sunday in Lent and used to be a day when church goers went along to worship at the cathedral in the area where they lived.

But, by the 17th century, it was already a day during which many people visited their mothers with a gift.

In many churches this Sunday, the part that mothers and other women play in caring for children will be acknowledged by the giving of daffodils to all women.

In some churches this Sunday, there will also be special mention of the very significant role Mary was given as the mother of Jesus.

It is utterly amazing that God entrusted the care of and nurture of his own Son to a young peasant woman from Nazareth.

And a wonderful example of human love at its very best was Mary enduring the agony of a parent’s grief as she courageously stood with Jesus as he died on the cross.

God’s gift to us of Jesus and his bringing up by Mary and Joseph speak volumes to us about God’s enormous and costly love for us all.

For many people Mothers’ Day is a wonderful time of thanksgiving and celebration.

For all sorts of reasons it is a rather more difficult time for some people.

Whatever our circumstances, we can all be grateful for the self giving love of many mothers.

We can also all appreciate God’s love for us, the human love we receive and the opportunities all of us can have to be involved in the nurture of children.