It was really good earlier this week to talk with Guy Diakiese, the newly appointed Chaplain in Liège. We chatted about Congo and Rwanda, mineral exploitation and the responsibility of those who lead to care for those in their charge. We also talked a little about growing up with Catholic mothers, and their hopes and prayers for us. This was particularly apposite in the run up to Mothering Sunday, which Anglicans remember this weekend.
Mothering Sunday holds together two important parts of our identity as Christians. We are all children of mothers who have given us life, fed us and nurtured us. Yet as Christians we have also been nurtured by our churches or Sunday school teachers or those who have brought us to faith as adults. We have been fed encouraged and enabled to grow. Of course like our human mothers, some churches have been better than others in feeding us and enabling us to grow, yet without them, we would have struggled to take those first steps, to reach out and follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us.
Mothering Sunday is of course a day of mixed emotions, particularly for those of us whose mothers are no longer with us, those of us who miss their encouragement, prompting and prayers. Perhaps too, some of us miss churches that we were a long time part of, or particular people who helped our faith become real and strong. We are grateful for the real difference they made in our lives, and remember them with thanksgiving.
Yet it is also a day of real joy - where we can give thanks for and encourage those who do still encourage, feed and nurture; whether that be the mothers within our own church family or those who continue to serve as Sunday school teachers, home group leaders, running Alpha courses, etc. The church is truly blessed to have you, and we are thankful for you.