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It seems to be upon us even before Easter is over. If you believe the hype, it’s all about flowers, chocolates and gifts; and smiling, happy families. But it can be a day that brings all sorts of emotions.
Some of us dread it. Some of us love it. Some of us embrace it. Some of us avoid it.
Many of us have had mothers who loved us, and have been blessed by motherhood. And it is right to thank God for these blessings! It is right to honour our mothers. The Old Testament tells us that. And as we were reminded on Good Friday, Jesus honoured his mother and cared for her even at his death.
Mothers’ Day can be a time to remember our mothers with great fondness, and a time to celebrate them, but it can also be a time of great pain.
There are some for whom this is the first Mothers’ Day as a mother. We rejoice with you at this precious gift from God. There are many whose children are a source of joy. We thank God with you.
Yet as I write this, I am acutely aware that there are some for whom this day is one of great sorrow. For some it is the first Mothers’ Day without their mother, or the first without their child. We weep with you.
There are some whose relationship with a mother or with a child is a source of great pain. We ache with you. There are some who long to be mothers but aren’t. We grieve with you. There are children with sick mothers and mothers with sick children. We pray for restored health, and we put our hope in the life to come.
God’s first instruction to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. Motherhood is inherent to God’s plan for his people. Mothers’ Day reminds us of God’s good design of family, but it also reminds us of the brokenness of the world we live in.
As God’s people, we know that he sent Jesus into the world to deal with our brokenness. His death in our place restores our relationship with God and his resurrection to life gives us the sure hope of eternal life with him. But at the moment we live with the tension of the now and not yet. We know and look forward to the restoration that there will be when God’s kingdom is consummated, but we live with the brokenness of this world until Jesus returns. And God has not left us alone.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s care for his people as the comfort of a mother for her children. Jesus speaks of longing to gather his people and comfort them as a mother hen gathers her chicks. The apostle Paul speaks of his own care for the Thessalonians as being like that of a mother.
God our Father is a father to the fatherless, and he loves us with a mother’s love. This Mothers’ Day, that is something for which we can all be thankful.