The Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union, Bev Jullien, reflects on Mothering Sunday.
Entering Lent, we look also towards Mothering Sunday. Whilst for many this is a joyful day when we celebrate our mothers, for some it can be a time of pain. So in Mothers’ Union we are privileged to have been given, for the second time, a liturgy created by the students of St Mellitus College under the guidance of Dr Jane Williams to share more widely, “Nurturing Hope in a Hurting world”.
In it, they use the analogy of the Rose – the thorns representing those who are hurting, and the petals the nurture given, not only by mothers, but the wider community, “mothering” those around them. We are reminded that in Christ, we are given both comfort and family, and the liturgy includes some beautiful prayers – this one in particular struck me:
May the circle of Your love close around those
whose relationships are broken or in need of healing.
The liturgy is available for all, and can be found on the Mothers’ Union website.
The realisation that we are all one in Christ, that in Him we are indeed one family struck me particularly strongly very recently, when the new Worldwide Board of Mothers’ Union, which brings together members from the five home nations and six other regions across the world, came together for the first time. Vibrant in their diversity, it was very evident that all were united in their love of Christ, with a common purpose of “mothering” all those in need around them.
Members shared stories of inspirational work ongoing throughout the movement: women such as Edna, from Guyana (the home of our new Worldwide President), who exhorts others to “be the positive change your families and communities need” and then puts words into action by creating a social enterprise which makes reusable sanitary pad kits to enable young girls to continue to go to school throughout the month.
Or Matilda in South Sudan who, after learning to read and write was able to set up her own business, and through that financed a new health centre and doctor, which now service a community of some 8000. To celebrate their work, and to help it to continue, Mothers’ Union is offering Mothering Sunday cards and gifts online at makeamothersday.org.
“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you” Isaiah 66:13a.