20th March 2023

It was Mothering Sunday yesterday. Often we are told of its meaning as the day when we think of our mother church and not flowers, chocolate and prosecco. But I was thinking about mothers in the Bible. Mothers get quite a good press given how little women feature.

Even Paul commends Timothy’s mother and his grandmother (Lois and Eunice).

There are some noted for bravery. In the Gospels there are the ones who brought their children to Jesus and persisted when Jesus’ disciples tried to turn them away.

There is Hannah who, having been childless for a long time and taunted for it, gave her son Samuel to God and left him with Eli at the temple. It is quite touching to read that she made him a new robe each year, larger each time I suppose, and took it to the temple on her annual visit. To give away the child you had so much wanted!

Then there is Jochebed. Who? Jochebed! She was Moses’ mother, unnamed in the bulrushes story. To save her baby she had to let Pharaoh’s daughter find him and adopt him, even having to pretend just to be a stranger who would nurse him till he was weaned.

But more recently, think of those Jewish mothers who in 1939 put their children on the Kindertransport trains from Germany to the UK not knowing if they would ever see them again. And most did not.

Think of those in Ukraine who have sent children out of the country to protect them.

A less sentimental view of Mothering than the TV version.

Margaret Clements