Tag Archives: Mothering Sunday

Loving Kindness – a meditation for when Mother’s Day is complicated

Lesley Shatwell writes:

I won’t now be leading this service on Sunday morning at St Mark’s, but I especially wanted to reach out to as many people as possible – particularly those who find Mother’s Day complicated.

As you read this, I imagine you playing a little bit of gentle music (my choice is Bach Double Violin Concerto, second movement – but please yourself!).  The main thing is to focus on yourself and God’s love for you as an individual.  God sees you as an individual, not “just a mother” or “just a child of a mother”.  God sees you as you in your wonderful individual uniqueness.

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

A service of Loving Kindness

Matt 11:28-30
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Let us bring to Jesus all that which is troubling us today.

God welcomes you here this morning.

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you feel safe.
May you live your life with ease.

I welcome you, knowing that you are all very brave.  Mother’s Day is complicated for so many people and for so many reasons.

And whatever your reason for being here this morning, know that God loves you.

Whatever anyone might say, whatever hurt and pain you carry, whatever sadness you may have caused another – GOD LOVES YOU

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you feel safe.
May you live your life with ease.

Rom 8: 38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you feel safe.
May you live your life with ease.
May all above,
And those below,
Those around,
And within,
Seen and unseen
throughout the Universe,
without exception,
be well and free from harm.

May all in the six directions (north, south, east, west, up and down)
and at all points in the in-between without exception,
as far as space and time extend be safe and well.
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow.
May all be free from whatever limits their realization of true happiness.
May they dwell in the Love, Compassion and Joy of God.
And may God hold us all in the golden light of loving kindness.

Preparation: – sit comfortably and rest your hands gently.  Allow your breathing to slow as you relax.

Bring your attention to yourself

May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I feel safe.
May I live my life with ease.

Bring your attention to someone you love, one you care deeply for

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you feel safe.
May you live your life with ease.

Bring your attention to someone who cares deeply for you,

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you feel safe.
May you live your life with ease.

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you

We are coming to the end of our meditation now, so gradually become aware of where you are, your weight in the chair and the world about you …

Imagine that we can say the grace together:

The grace of our lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God and
the fellowship of the holy spirit
be with us all
now and forever.

Thoughts on Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday is the day on which the Church of England mixes together Mothering Sunday and Mothers Day.  Many churches will have services welcoming families and providing posies for the children to give to their mothers.

But… there is something about the day which I find awkward.  It isn’t just that reality doesn’t match up to the sainthood conferred on mothers, at least by secular society, if not the church; nor that it is not a day for celebration for all mothers – those who have lost children through death, adoption, or social services determining that they weren’t fit mothers; nor that not all children wish to celebrate their mothers, as not all children have good memories of their mothers.

It is all of these, but in addition there is a sense in which we are being invited to deny reality.  All mothers are going to let their children down – it is only God who can be relied on in all circumstances – I am not suggesting that it is calculated or malicious, but no person is perfect, and people who think they have a perfect mother haven’t yet learnt to break away and see them as people, rather than as plaster saints.

The church should be encouraging and helping everyone to become the best people that they can be, and that includes having a true understanding of themselves and their relationships.  How can we do this if we help maintain the myths of the perfect mother?