Like a Mother, She Consoles and Comforts
By Rev'd Jackie Twine
2 Corinthians 1: 3-7
It’s usual to give a sermon about mothers on mothering Sunday, isn’t it. But today I want to talk about a different kind of mother. The church, the bride of Christ, which is us. And not just us but all of the Christian churches, all around the world, now, in the future, and all the way back to the earliest of churches started by Jesus’s disciples. A church which you are a part of. Even though you’re sat at home. With your candle and your piece of paper. Me and Annie might be the only ones sat here inside the church building, but we’re all the church. Now matter how scattered we are. And we’re part of a church which is called to be a mother. And that means you are called to join in with this act of mothering too.
Just as Mary gave birth to the Church when she gave birth to Jesus, the Church has grown up and given birth to her children through faith in Jesus Christ. The Church is the one who “mother’s” to others in the same way that a mother “mother’s” her child. The church cares, teaches, accepts, sacrifices, heals, and celebrates”. And also, as we heard in our reading today, the church consoles, or comforts.
How does that work? I want to share with you something I noticed a lot when I was a young mum and took my girls to toddler groups. Often you’d see a child get hurt or fall over and they’d cry. And then mum would come over and give the little child a cuddle and stroke their forehead and tell them they were ok. And then so so often, the little child would happily toddle off, find a dolly and cuddle it and comfort it, in the same way they’d just been comforted. This is exactly what Paul is talking about in his letter to the Christians in Corinth. God comforts and consoles us in our afflictions, and when we have received that comfort and consolation, so we are empowered
and inspired to
go and offer it to others.
We are called to give comfort because God has comforted us. We are called to love because God has loved us. We are called to sacrifice, because God has sacrificed all for us.
Now more than ever we are called to sacrifice. How do we do that? Well if we are elderly or vulnerable or we or a family member are unwell, we are being called to make a huge sacrifice for our country. To give up our freedom and our normal ways of life so that the NHS can still continue to care for as many people as possible. To isolate ourselves is a massive sacrifice, and if you have been asked to do that, and that’s what you’re doing, then you are deserving of our gratitude, respect and honour. You are saving many lives. You should be proud. And how else can we sacrifice?
Well, before it was about not eating all the chocolate Rolos in the packet, now it’s about not taking all the Andrex loo rolls off the shelf. That’s sacrifice, to share, to let others have what they need too. To trust that there’ll be enough to go round. How else do we sacrifice, well for those not at high risk, it’s about still being careful to physically distance ourselves from others while carefully helping where we can, with shopping and walking dogs and things like that. All of us are being called to mother, to care for each other, physically keeping our distance, while keeping as close as close can be in our hearts and in our prayers. And making the most of the connection we’ve all still got- make the phone call, say that prayer, make the facebook post or video, sing on your balcony.
These are tough times. No doubt about it. But know that God is with you, mothering you with his sacrifice, comfort, care, love and consolation in your affliction. Know that God is with you. Really know that God is with you. And knowing that, be empowered and inspired to mother others as very best you can. God bless you all my friends. Amen.