Centuries ago, when travelling was slow and uncomfortable, people worshipped at their local parish church, which was usually within walking distance of where they lived. But on one Sunday during Lent, known as Refreshment Sunday, they were encouraged to visit their 'mother church' – their nearest cathedral or the church where they were baptised. Apprentices and those who were servants at large estates and houses would be allowed to take the day off to pay a visit to their mothers and families – this was known as ‘going mothering’, which is where the name ‘Mothering Sunday’ first came from. But gradually the tradition became less popular and was forgotten. Then in 1913, a lady called Constance Smith heard about a campaign in America to dedicate one day in the year to celebrate mothers, which became known as 'Mother's Day'. Inspired by this, Constance decided to revive Mothering Sunday in the UK, promoting it as a celebration of mothers as well as the mother church. As a result of her efforts, Mothering Sunday is observed today across the British Isles and the Commonwealth! The Bible says, ‘A good woman is…worth far more than diamonds…She senses the worth of her work and is in no hurry to call it quits…When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say and…always says it kindly…Her children respect and bless her’ (vv. 1, 9, 17, 28 MSG). It’s an amazing tribute to mothers and those who have been mother-figures in our lives. Today, let’s take the opportunity to celebrate not only our mothers, but anyone who cares for us and has helped shape and encourage us as we’ve grown physically and in our faith.
Take some time today to thank God for mothers and for those who love and care for you. If you can, give your mother a call or visit her. And why not check in with the first church you went to as well!
The UCB Word For You