The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Weetabix and the Glory of God

I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day morning already this year.

It means having my annual breakfast in bed, two still-sticky cards from my 5-year-old and 3-year-old, and (hurrah!) it’ll be daddy’s turn to play dodge-the-weetabix with my 7-month-old son.

Yet Mothering Sunday has become a slightly awkward moment for many of our churches. Of course we want to celebrate mothers, but what about those women who have lost or never been able to conceive a child? Or those who have chosen not to have children? How can we both celebrate the mothers among us and include the rest of us in the process?

Perhaps we can allow Mothering Sunday to have a more profound purpose, going further than the celebration of a few. It can become an opportunity to grow together as disciples, whether we are parents or not. What could God teach the whole body of Christ through the daily experience of mothers?

In Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline, Catherine McNiel reminds us that the miracle of the incarnation was not that Jesus was a man or that he was God – but that he was God and man. He, the Holy One, had his nappy changed and nose wiped. Perhaps Mary also regularly played dodge-the-first-century-weetabix with him.

It is because of this miraculous incarnation that we can see the fingerprints of God in the very physical, bodily activities of a mother’s life. The daily round of humdrum activities echoes Christ’s service to us. Their ever-wakeful vigilance through the dark of the night reminds us of the Father’s constant loving gaze. The love that carries them through the pain of labour shows something of the enduring love of our Saviour. And the creative miracle that happens within their bodies is unmistakably the gift of a Creator God.

A mother’s discipleship journey uniquely reveals something of who God is. But we need stories of each disciple’s journey – male or female, single or married, childfree or a parent – to create a deeper, fuller understanding of the wonderful God we serve.

We can choose to walk that collective journey of discovery by shifting our focus this Sunday. As well as saying ‘thank you’, try asking ‘how have you grown as a disciple through being a mother?’

We may all discover more of the glory of God through her answer.


Gemma Curran
CEO, Curran Household

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  1. ‘Of course we want to celebrate mothers, but what about those women who have lost or never been able to conceive a child? Or those who have chosen not to have children? How can we both celebrate the mothers among us and include the rest of us in the process?’
    Wellll, one of the great things I remember from a book by Eric Metaxas is that fatherhood is essential to masculinity, no matter whether you’ve got children of your own or not. You can always be a father-figure to younger people. The same, I believe, holds true of women who haven’t got children – be a mother-figure to those around you.

    By Alfred  -  29 Mar 2019
  2. A thought that helps me ( a mother) to be more sensitive and inclusive on Mothering Sunday.
    Many people ‘ mother’ our children. Fathers, older siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers and nursery workers.

    I came across this prayer that says it very well
    For the mothering of mothers,
    And the mothering of fathers,
    And the mothering of others,
    We give You thanks

    By Helen Taylor  -  29 Mar 2019
  3. I am calling my wife the CEO of the Rouse House from now on! Thanks Gemma for helping us connect with Mother’s Day in this way – I was planning to speak this Sunday about Mary, the mother of Jesus and how, despite the way she’s depicted in art, she stood under the cross. Her discipleship had shaped her and she stands with dignity as she demonstrates something other than the chaos and violence that is happening around her. I am grateful this mother’s day for all those who have stood like a mother alongside me through my life – and to those who have skilfully avoided the flying weetabix!

    By Steve ROUSE  -  29 Mar 2019
  4. Really helpful blog and comments.
    Thankyou, all.

    By Reg  -  29 Mar 2019
  5. I like the CEO-bit 🙂 !

    By Martin Slabbekoorn  -  29 Mar 2019
  6. great inclusive reflection, thanks

    By Bruce Gulland  -  29 Mar 2019
  7. Thanks for your post!

    Another way we can all celebrate mothering is to recognize the mothering aspects of God, particularly through the scriptures where God describes himself in a mothering role (Mathew 23, Luke 13, Hosea 11, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 42, 49, 66, Psalm 91). Mothering is a reflection of God’s image, not the other way around. Any mothering (birthing, nurturing, tending) we do on an earthly level is but an imitation of God’s heavenly attributes. Focusing on these attributes of God helps us understand the tenderness of his heart toward us, and the ongoing investment he makes in growing and sustaining us.

    By Cynthia Tews  -  30 Mar 2019
  8. I purposefully chose not to go to church on Mother’s Day.
    My due date would have been the same week however, no baby, due to a miscarriage.
    I couldn’t bear to sit in church for the third year in a row, empty handed, longing that next year the situation would be different.
    Hope has faded.
    Church was just not the place for me that day.

    By Anonymous  -  5 Apr 2019

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