A mother’s love

Last Sunday my wife and I spent a very pleasant day with some of our family as we celebrated Mother’s Day. It was good to remember and give thanks for the role of our mothers in our lives. The bond between a mother and her child is very close. Mothers experience deep joy and sometimes great sadness. Mary the mother of Jesus had unique experiences because her child was special but also shared in the common experiences of motherhood.

Mary was a young virgin when she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. When her husband Joseph understood what had happened, he was a loving support to Mary. Through the months of her pregnancy Mary developed a close bond with her baby as she felt him moving in her womb. When Jesus was born Mary rejoiced to meet her son, to feed him at her breast and to learn the skills of motherhood. A very precious life had been committed to her care and she felt the great responsibility of it. Every new mother feels the same.

Mary delighted in watching Jesus growing into adulthood. When he was 12 years old Jesus came of age and was taken to the Passover Feast in Jerusalem for the first time. When the feast was over Mary and Joseph lost Jesus for a short time. They were very anxious until they found him in the Temple. He told them that he must fulfil his purpose in coming into this world. He continued living with them in Nazareth for several years before leaving them to begin his amazing ministry. Mary, like other mothers, had to be willing to let him go.

Just three years later Mary was broken-hearted as she stood near the cross watching her beloved Son die. Before he died Jesus committed his mother to the care of his disciple John. Mary also found comfort as she trusted in God, her heavenly Father. From the time when the angel told her she would conceive a son she had trusted God and she had faithfully completed her calling as a mother. Some mothers experience great sadness when one of their children dies. At such times they can know the comfort of God the heavenly Father, whose only Son died. The hymnwriter William Cowper wrote of God’s loving faithfulness, “Can a woman’s tender care cease towards the child she bare? Yes, she may forgetful be, yet will I remember thee. Mine is an unchanging love, higher than the heights above, deeper than the depths beneath, free and faithful, strong as death.”

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