Sermon for Mothering Sunday 11th march 2018

MOTHERING SUNDAY 11th March 2018 

READINGS  Psalm 121  Exodus 2: 1-10 


QUESTION   Who in our lives has taken care of us?              

Who took care of Moses when he was a child?

3 people in particular:

            Birth mother

            Adopted mother!


  And  God!

They each cared for Moses in different ways, and contributed to his well-being and his future.


Mother Jochebed:  mother and nurse.  She first protected him by putting him in the little basket and hid him from the Egyptian soldiers.  I like to think of it as a little Moses ark. She then got paid by the Egyptian Princess to care for him as a toddler!

She would have given great attention to his physical and educational and spiritual development –   probably till 3 years old, when he would have gone to live in the Palace.

Jochebed would probably taught him Jewish customs and language. 

Moses’ parents were people of faith, and they knew that Moses was no ordinary baby; they knew God had plans for him, so they put him into God’s hands. 

And Moses grew up with a trust in God that motivated him to obey God’s call.


Miriam sister:  she was the one with a watchful eye when Moses was floating in his little Moses basket; she was aware of danger – she probably thought about crocodiles more than princesses!  She was quick to take the opportunity to keep Moses in safe hands; she too probably realised that he was a special baby.  For later, she became the first prophetess, and had an important role in helping Moses when the Israelites left slavery in Egypt – she helped to lead the women and children.


Princess Bithia:  she brought Moses up as her own son. 

So he would have had Egyptian education too, and no doubt a very privileged life style.  It was Pharaoh’s daughter who named Moses – for his name means ‘drawn out of the water’.  She did indeed rescue him from the water, and from death, and cared for him lavishly.

These 3 women stood between life and death for Moses!  He could not have lived without their care. 

Nor would he have become the man he did.

GOD:  God was also watching over Moses all the time;

he had plans for Moses, and these plans freed thousands of Israelites from slavery.


It’s an interesting combination here, and a good example of how God works: 

sometimes God dramatically intervenes, quite directly – just as though he were standing right next to us. 

He did this, you remember, when he spoke to Moses out of a burning bush.

Very often he works through other people to help us – in Moses’ case, particularly through these 3 women we are thinking about today.


When we place ourselves and our children and family into God’s hands, we invite him to hold us, to watch over us and work through us. This is very much what prayer is about.


Last year, I had a particular experience of being held. 

As you probably know, I had an operation and radiotherapy treatment last summer, and through that time, I held a picture in my mind and heart:  it was of 2 hands, with me held securely in the middle.  One hand was God’s, and the other was the NHS and my family and friends, all working for my peace and safety.  It felt a very good place to be -

because times like that can feel like a flood of water that threatens to overwhelm us, and we fear that we will drown.


Some of you today will remember the sadness of miscarriage or the inability to carry a baby, the loss of a child or parent, or having to get used to an adopted parent, or being a single parent, or other times when your family has been under great stress.


God can rescue us from these overwhelming waters:  Moses was drawn out of the water and kept safe – but not without fears and troubles, and, I think, an awful lot of prayers and encouragement!

So let’s have a go now at being held in safe hands

 … close your eyes and imagine God’s hand and your hand coming together – reach out till they touch and they make a little Moses basket shape on your lap. 

Now put your children, God-children, grandchildren, etc., into those cupped hands – and pop yourself in too, if you want!

Now listen to Psalm 121

I look to the mountains;
    where will my help come from?
My help will come from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let you fall;
    your protector is always awake.

The protector of Israel
    never dozes or sleeps.
The Lord will guard you;
    he is by your side to protect you.
The sun will not hurt you during the day,
    nor the moon during the night.

The Lord will protect you from all danger;
    he will keep you safe.
He will protect you as you come and go
    now and forever. (Good News Translation)








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