Mothering Sunday – 22nd March 2020

Our Family Eucharist on Mothering Sunday is a Service with many children and Uniformed Organisations present. Children give posies of flowers to all the ladies in Church, and we all enjoy a piece of Simnel Cake made by some of the Church ladies. This talk is for this All Age congregation.

When we are feeling a bit ‘down’ to see flowers growing in gardens and the grass verges, can ‘lift our spirits’, make us feel happier. ‘Say it with flowers’ is a slogan encouraging us to send flowers to someone. When we do so they are not only giving a message from ourselves, it is the flowers themselves which are saying something, they are making a point. Jesus Himself used flowers to illustrate a point. He said ‘And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.’ (Matthew 6:28). So Jesus was using flowers as an illustration about not worrying, but trusting God.

One of the traditions of Mothering Sunday is that we give flowers to our mothers. Also, our Church gives posies of flowers to all the ladies in Church during the Service. When we do this, what are we saying?

Perhaps the first thing we are saying when we give flowers to someone is ‘I am thinking of you’. On Mothering Sunday we are thinking especially of mother, and for mother that is fine. But for some it can be a very difficult day. Perhaps, for example, someone who would like to be a mother, but for them it is not possible. For such people Mothering Sunday can be a painful day and we should especially think of them today. But today should not be an exclusive day, it was never meant to be. Indeed, Mothering Sunday began as a day to honour Mother Church, the spiritual mother of all Christians. Indeed it is always very important to remember that God is always thinking of us, whoever we are, whether we are mothers or not. I hope it is a comforting thought for us to know that God cares for us so much that that He is always thinking of us. To give flowers says ‘I am thinking of you’.

Another reason we give flowers is as a way of ‘saying sorry’. A way of making up for all the times we have not done as mother wanted us to do or told us to do. So we give her some flowers to say sorry. We all need to say sorry to God for the times when we fail Him. We all fail. This is why we have the Confession in our Church Service. If we say sorry to God, and we mean it, he will always forgive us.

But another reason that we give flowers to our mothers today is that we want to say to them ‘You are special’. This is important. But it is also important for us to recognise that God sees us all as being special to Him. I remember many years ago visiting an elderly lady in hospital, who had been very ill, but was getting better. As we talked she was running herself down. So I told her ‘that she was very special – very special to God’.  And she started crying. That simple thought had never occurred to her. But it is true, we are all special to God.

One more reason to give flowers to mother is ‘to say thank you’ to her. We can do that whatever age we are. Every one of us either has, or has had, a mother. Mine died many years ago.  We can thank God for our mother. All she means or meant to us, all that she does or did for us. Especially we want to do that today, Mothering Sunday. But also God’s people should always want to say thank you to God. It is right and good to stop and think of all that God does for us, and to say thank you to Him.

‘Love’ draws all of these reasons together. So another important reason for giving flowers to mother is because we know ‘she loves us’ and ‘we love her’. Yes, we might annoy each other at times, and it might not be universally true, but I hope it is true for us. So in recognition of our mother’s love for us, we give her some flowers. We ‘say it with flowers’ as well as with our lips. What is universally true, is that whoever on this earth loves us or not, God always loves us, and this is a constant love. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ (John 3:16).

In response let us say to God that we love Him. ‘How I love you Lord’ is something we can say in response to His love for us.

                                                                                                                                         Colin Wood