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Dave’s sermon, delivered by Julie in this strange online world we are currently calling ‘church services’, was entitled ‘A Mother and Her Son’, and reflected the fact that today is Mothering Sunday in the UK. We looked at Mary, the mother of Jesus, and saw something of the difficulties of being a mother. Mary’s life was turned upside down by the angel’s announcement to her as a young teenager, but she was willing to do as God said. (Luke 1:38) It’s likely that she was widowed when Jesus was still quite young, and being a widow with other sons and daughters must have been a daunting task. Mary displayed both courage and bravery throughout her life – characteristics all mothers need.

Children can baffle us at times. Mary was probably baffled by much of Jesus’s teaching, especially that which seemed to repudiate His close family ties (Matt 12:49-50). We too can be baffled by our children, even as they grow up. Children can also cause us much heartache: Mary must have been devastated to see her son hanging on the cross like a common criminal. But ultimately we believe that children make life worthwhile. The £160,140 it has been estimated as the cost of bringing up a child is well worth it as we learn to see life through the eyes of a child and feel the love and security of a relationship like no other.

Children can baffle us and break our hearts, but they bring us untold joy. We, as God’s children, may baffle and break His heart too, but He loves us so much that He sent His Son to save us. Jesus, even on the cross, thought of His mother’s love, care, affection, sacrifices, hurts and needs and entrusted her to the care of John, His disciple (John 19:26-27). As we celebrate Mothering Sunday – often being apart from our mothers because of the current situation, unable to show the love and attention we would normally give – we celebrate not only a mother’s love, but the love of God for each one of us which means we are part of His family forever more.