Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
A sermon preached in St. Columba's Parish on Sunday 18th March 2012
Today is Mothering Sunday ... and I wonder if the mums in the congregation have been having a good morning ... was it different to any other sunday morning ... how was it different?
This week I came across some things famous mums might have said
Humpty Dumpty's Mother: "Humpty, If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred
times not to sit on that wall. But would you listen to me? Noooo!"
Michelangelo's Mother: "Mike, can't you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?"
Barney's Mother: "I realize plums are your favorite, Barney, but you're starting to look a little purple."
Little Miss Muffet's Mother: "Well, all I've got to say is if you don't get off your tuffet and start cleaning your room, there'll be a lot more spiders around here!"
This morning I need a wee bit of help ... I have some images of some things which mums do for us ... take a wee look ... what do they tell us about mums?
I only have six of these but hopefully they are representative of the many many things
Tend to us – Look after us when we are sick
Hold us / comfort us / love us
Tell us off / discipline us
Mothers are special people... as we look at these qualities
As we look at them ... we are quite mindful that our mums do quite a bit for us.
In the Bible reading this morning we hear a bit about Jesus' Mum ... She had brought Jesus to the temple and an old man who was there and he said some amazing things as to what her son would accomplish in his life
He said God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I've seen your salvation; it's now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel
It is great that we have Jesus who knows what it is like to be in a family ... with all its ups and downs ... all its stresses and strains.
Also as we see in todays reading ... Mary, Jesus' mum was someone who was ordinary in terms of she didn't have a trouble free life ... she had joys and also we see right from the beginning of the story she was going to have to undergo much suffering and emotional turmoil.
Whoever we are we have got to respect mothers and what they do for us... The things which we have said about Mums also hold true of the church and of God himself...
In Church we call today Mothering Sunday ... its when we remember the qualities which mums display day in and day out ... and it is a day when we remember that in many ways the church displays these qualities as well because God wants us to be a family.
Mothering Sunday ... is a reminder to us of what the church should be.
‘Mothering Sunday’ was for many centuries, called ‘Refreshment Sunday’, when people returned to their ‘Mother’ Church, the one where they had been baptized.
It was a day on which to renew and refresh baptismal vows to live the Christian life of obedience to God. The Church knew her people. Coinciding with the warming of the earth and the upsurge of new life in field and barn and hedgerow, it was a good day in the midst of Lenten fasting and discipline, to celebrate the promise of a plentiful supply and variety of fresh food after the limited diet of the harsh winter months.
Then, in the nineteenth century, the custom in uk, changed again. In rural areas, especially, youngsters working as servants in the houses of the wealthy were allowed leave to visit their families and on the way, would gather wild flowers to present to their Mothers.
So Mothering Sunday is linked to Church and is about giving time to say a big ‘thank you’ to God, to the Church and to all Mothers - and others - who ‘mother’ us. It is about community with God at its centre.
And thats exactly what we are doing on mothering sunday
We are thanking God for Mums, we are thanking God for how much the church means to us and most importantly how God is able to provide those things for us.