I wonder how many extra flowers and chocolates will be bought prior to the last Sunday in March?
I suspect sales will rocket! Mother’s Day is upon us.
Or is it Mothering Sunday?
It started as a day in Lent when people would return to their ‘mother’ church where they were baptised or grew up.
It was labelled as Mothering Sunday and emphasises the role of the Church in nurturing and caring for people.
In the sixteenth century it was day when servants got the day off to visit their families, especially their mothers.
It went out of favour, but became regenerated when Mother’s Day became a trend from America as a celebration of mums and all they do for us.
It didn’t have a religious connection and it was only after the First World War that the two celebrations became merged and landed on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
Some people get a bit sniffy about whether you are celebrating the more secular Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday, but the two are so closely linked.
The Mother’s Day aspect of celebrating our mums is a strong theme, and why not?
There is no question that mums are special. A mother’s love for her children is striking and from birth is what gives the child the nurture to grow in physical strength and skill, but also in confidence to go out and face the world.
It is shared by all good parents, that pride in watching our children grow and achieve all that they are meant to with their lives, but also the pain as we witness their struggles and the fear as we witness them take on new and sometimes painful challenges.
You cannot live their lives for them, but in giving them life and that early nurture you have equipped them for what lies ahead.
It is the same as the way the Church forms and nurtures us.
It is where we are given new life through Jesus Christ and have to go out from there to face all the challenges the world has to throw at us.
Through its teaching we are equipped morally and spiritually to deal with everyday life. Inevitably you cannot help but think of Mary, Jesus’ mother and how she was entrusted with his care preparing him for the ministry that lay ahead for him.
And she was there too at the foot of the cross bearing her pain.
At Hellingly we shall be celebrating at our 10.45am service quite unashamedly celebrating our mums, but we shall also be thanking God for his Church – and I suspect that chocolate and flowers will be in there somewhere as well!