Every single one of these readings for Mothering Sunday are about mothers who “let go”.
Whether it is the mother of Moses leaving her baby on the river to be found by a princess, or Hannah giving her little boy to the Lord (1 Samuel 1: 28) for ministry in the temple, or Mary hearing of the sword that will pierce her soul and standing at the foot of the cross; all these mothers become faith heroes by letting their children go.
In my mind there is a small niggle that warns me concerning these stories: are they really life-giving to women or are they written from a male perspective that does not take the women into account? On the other hand there is in my mind the overwhelming acknowledgement of the wisdom that comes with these stories. Only a parent who has created a safe bond with the child can then also truly let the child go. It is in the process of letting go that the genuine greatness of parenting comes to light. Is there not comfort in this thought?
God is such a mother, who lets go, who sets free. And we become more mother-like, more God-like, when we lose (or have lost) our children; whether we lose them to death or to the 1000 other things you can lose your child to. It is in the losing that we receive, just like Mary, Hannah and the ‘Levite woman’ who was Moses’ mother.
6 March 2016
Exodus 2:1-10; 1 Samuel 1:20-end; Luke 2:33-35; John 19:25b-27
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.