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Short Talk

Get children at front

Play James Bond movie theme.

I have just watched the latest James Bond "Skyfall"

Ask what job James Bond does? - Secret agent.

Did you realise that there could be some secret agents here today?

Some of them may be so secret that they don't realise that they are secret agents themselves! This is because they are God's secret agents! Their job is to love you and look after you. Who do you think we are talking about? Mums.

Nearly two thousand years ago a man called Paul, who wrote some of the Bible, sent a letter to a young man called Timothy. It showed how Timothy's mother and grandmother had helped Timothy to trust in God...

"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." 2 Timothy 1:5

In "Skyfall" James Bond helps and cares for his boss, who is called "M". When she is bleeding he gives her something to stop it. When you are hurt your M-U-M might give you something, like a plaster. So, I would like to give you a plaster to put on for today to remind you of how your mum's help you.

Just as M needed James Bond's help, parents need their children's help. In doing what they are told to do by their parents, children can actually be helping themselves, because parents love their children and often know what is best for them.

The Bible talks about this;

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  "Honour your father and mother"- which is the first commandment with a promise - 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth Eph 6:1-3 (NIV)

                                                                                                          

Mothering Sunday 10th March 2002 John 19:25-27

True or False Game:

Use children, and others ?, out front with 'T' and 'F' cards

1) Mother's Day was invented after Christmas and before Easter by a Greetings Card Manufacturer in the early 1900's to sell more cards.

False. Mother's Day celebrations date back at least as far as ancient Greece, where worshipers observed a spring day in honour of Rhea, the Mother of the gods.

Since the 17th century in this country, Christians celebrated "Mothering Sunday," the fourth Sunday in Lent, to honour the Virgin Mary and other faithful Mothers. In those days servants were encouraged to take the day off to go home and spend the day with their mums A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

In 1914 Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. President declared the second Sunday of May to be the official Mother's Day. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium now celebrate Mother's Day on the same day.

2) The longest recorded interval between a woman having children is 41 years.

True. Elizabeth Ann Buttle of Cwmann, Camarthenshire, gave birth to Belinda on 19th May 1956 and Joseph on 20th November 1997. She was then aged 60 and was probably the only woman at the local post office to collect a pension and family allowance at the same time !

3) The chick of a Western gull pecks its mother's red bill spot to show that it is hungry. The mother then flies off to get insects for her young.

False. The mother passes food from her own stomach to the mouth of her offspring.

4) The highest number of children born to one mother is 69.

True. Mrs Feodor Vassilyev of Russia was pregnant 27 times between 1725 and 1765. She had 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets ( yes it does add up ! ). Only two of the children died in infancy. ( These were caused by the little one in the bed telling the others to roll over ! )

5) After they have given birth alligator and crocodile mothers put their newly-born offspring into their mouths to give them warmth.

False. Alligators and crocodiles lay eggs ! The mothers cover their buried clutches of eggs with vegetation that radiates heat as it rots, keeping nest temperatures within the right limits.

6) As they travel to make their young, the colour and shape of the head of the female sockeye salmon changes so it cannot eat.

True, they literally giving up their lives so that their eggs have a chance to mature. In fact, the mothers' spent bodies actually become part of a food chain that later benefits their developing young.

Tell volunteers to return to their seats

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First of all we discovered that there are at least two mother's days in the world. It is great to show our mothers how much we appreciate them by telling them sending them a card, and giving them a gift. But, of course, we can do that every day, and every day should be mothers', and indeed father's day. The fifth commandment tells children to 'honour your father and mother'.

We heard about the woman who had one child when she was eighteen or nineteen, and another one forty one years later when she was sixty. This reminds us that there are mothers of all ages, and whether their children are infants, or forty one, or older, being a mother is a God-given vocation for life. Just because their children reach eighteen years old, doesn't mean that a mother fails to care, love or be concerned about her offspring. We see this in the life of Jesus' mother, Mary...

John 19: 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Find out who, in the congregation came from a large family, i.e. who had the most brothers and sisters.

Imagine having 68 brothers and sisters. You'd have a job remembering all their names, especially if any of the twins were identical. Perhaps they had name tags !

Some mothers have one or two children, some have a number, but many women who want to have children are unable to. We need to remember that Mothering Sunday can be a painful time for many people. Not only for those unable to have children, but also: those who have had a miscarriage; those whose children have died; those who are separated from their mothers by death, or distance, or a bad relationship; and those whose mothers abused or abandoned them.

There are no formal lessons in how to be a parent, and all of us parents make mistakes. But there is forgiveness available through Jesus, and, as Christians who have been forgiven, we are called to forgive others. This is why we pray 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us' in the Lord's Prayer.

We learned how the Western Gull mother gives her own food to her young and the mother sockeye salmon gives her very life for her young. This reminds us that there are so many sacrifices that mothers make. They give their time, energy, love, sleep, freedom, finances, perhaps their careers and so on.

I remember an incident from our former church in Derby. We used to run 'Enquirers Groups' for people wanting to find out more about the Christian faith. In the first meeting we would talk about the course and invite people to introduce themselves. So, people would say their name, where they lived, what their jobs were etc. One lady said, my name is Carol and I don't do anything. When we questioned her it turned our she had six children at the time ! The idea that anyone with so many children could do nothing is laughable ( and we did ! ), but behind her comment was the wrong thought that raising children was not worthwhile or inferior to paid employment. To be a mother is a wonderful gift and an immense responsibility.

Today, we need to do all that we can to support mothers, and the Mothers' Union is one organisation dedicated to this.

We can also thank God for his gift of our mothers.

And those who are mothers can ask for God's help as they fulfil this role, and pray that their children will know Jesus and follow his ways.

Father God,

On this Mothering Sunday we thank you for our mums. We pray for your strength and guidance for mothers everywhere, and ask that we would all fulfil your calling to love and serve one another, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.