“Motherhood and apple pie” is a favourite American expression that sums up shared values and social responsibilities.
Respect for mothers is a universal sentiment in all major world religions and cultures.
Apple pie is a good symbol of home and family life wherever apples can be grown.
On March 26 we celebrate Mothers Day or Mothering Sunday.
It is a good opportunity to acknowledge our family origins and recognise the other “mothers” who enable our humanity to be as it is – mother nature, mother country, mother tongue and so on.
There is even a text in the Bible that reminds us that God is our mother (Isaiah 66:13).
We learn of the values of life from our mother’s knee as well as the arms of our grandmothers.
The importance also of adopted mothers or step-mothers or foster mothers cannot be underestimated in enabling children to become well balanced and loving adults.
Of course sometimes things go wrong in human relationships but the ideal of motherhood remains.
In the heart of the Ten Commandments is the injunction that we should honour our parents with the promise that our days may be long.
This is quite a challenge to us today with the expanding life span of a growing number in the world’s population.
It is quite offensive to hear remarks about our elderly folks being a drain on the nations’ resources.
How do we enhance our humanity by denying it to others who need our love and care?
Mothers Day or Mothering Sunday is a very important day to keep in our lives because we are celebrating the gift of life itself which puts all the other great issues of our times into perspective.
We are challenged in every generation by the vision of how life should be lived in the words we find in the Book of the Prophet Zechariah.
“Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets.” (Zechariah 8:4&5).
We must never lose sight of what God wants us all to enjoy in life.
We must work together to achieve our hopes and dreams.
As the old Jewish saying puts it, “God could not be everywhere so he made mothers”.
A truth we all can treasure, just as we should treasure those who brought us into the world.
Canon George Burgon