Mothering Sunday 2005 6/3/05
JN 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.
Ask children/adults what good things mothers do/have done for us. cook, wash, wash clothes, iron, clean us and home, take us to church, care, be nurse/doctor, teacher, chauffeur.
Ask children/adults how they can help their mothers.
Jesus showed his care for his mother in asking John to look after her. It is a reminder that we are to care for our mothers, especially when we get older.
After watching sales falling off for three straight months at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Colonel calls up the Pope and asks for a favour.
The Pope says, "What can I do?"
The Colonel says, "I need you to change the daily prayer from, 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken'. If you do it, I'll donate 10 Million Dollars to the Vatican."
The Pope replies, "I am sorry. That is the Lord's prayer and I can not change the words."
So the Colonel hangs up. After another month of dismal sales, the Colonel panics, and calls again.
"Listen your Excellency. I really need your help. I'll give you $50 million dollars if you change the words of the daily prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken.'"
And the Pope responds, "It is very tempting, Colonel Sanders. The church could do a lot of good with that much money. It would help us support many charities. But, again, I must decline. It is the Lord's prayer, and I can't change the words."
So the Colonel gives up again. After two more months of terrible sales the Colonel gets desperate. "This is my final offer, your Excellency. If you change the words of the daily prayer from, 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken' I will donate $100 million to the Vatican."
The Pope replies, "Let me get back to you."
So the next day, the Pope calls together all of his bishops and he says, "I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that KFC is going to donate $100 million to the Vatican."
The bishops rejoice at the news. Then one asks about the bad news.
The Pope replies, "The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread account."
The Bishop ran into to the Pope's quarters one day and said, "Your Holiness, I have good news and I have bad news!"
The Pope replied, "What's the good news?"
The Bishop answered, "Jesus has returned to earth! He's on the phone and wants to speak with you!"
The Pope then asked, "And the bad news?"
The Bishop replied, "He's calling from Lambeth Palace."
I'd like you to imagine Mary's scrap book of Jesus' life.
When Jesus was born Mary had the good news of a wonderful, healthy baby. thumbs up A special baby who was God and was from God. There were the visits by the angel, shepherds and wise men. But thumbs down there was the problem of being labelled an unmarried mother. The flight to Egypt to escape the murderous Herod.
When Jesus was presented at the temple it was a wonderful occasion.thumbs up They were greeted by Simeon and Anna. Simeon praised God, but then said to Mary, Luke 2:33 And a sword will pierce your own soul too thumbs down. What did this mean? Mary would find out over thirty years later.
Joseph, Mary and Jesus had a good time at the Passover when Jesus was 13 thumbs up. But on the way home they discovered Jesus wasn't in their party thumbs down. They found him in Jerusalem having theological discussions with the religious leaders who were amazed at his knowledge.
Jesus embarked upon his ministry. thumbs upIt was wonderful to hear him preach so well, to heal sick people, to drive out demons, to raise dead people! But Jesus was hated by the religious leaders thumbs down. And some of his family found it difficult to cope with.
In today's gospel Mary must have gone through agony thumbs down as she saw her first-born child nailed to a cross. Then she would have rejoiced in the good news that he had risen from the dead thumbs up.
Following Jesus involves bad times thumbs down and good times thumbs up. But the good times thumbs up outweigh the bad times thumbs down. Jesus is good news thumbs up.
One of the good things that God does for us is to give us mothers. As an act of thanksgiving to God I am going to invite us to write on the A5 sheet of paper the name of our mother. Younger children may just want to put 'mum' or 'mummy' on the sheet. You may also want to put on the sheet something special about your mother that you are especially thankful for.
We've been thinking about good and bad. I am aware that a few people may not have positive memories of their mother and you may wish to bring this to God by putting their name on the paper.
After we have had the chance to do this we will put the pieces of paper on a plate/in a container and offer them to God with a prayer.
"Lord God. We thank you for giving us mothers. We thank you for the good memories we have... We ask for your love and forgiveness to surround any bad memories. We thank you for the good news of Jesus and pray that you will help us to follow Him."