Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

John Denney 15 March 1999


Are you old enough to remember the washing powder advert that asked “What is a Mum?”  The answer they wanted you to give was “the person who washes my clothes”, true enough but I think there’s a bit more to being a Mum than that.  Mums give birth to you, they bring you up and look after you until you’re grown up – and for a long time after that, too.  The main thing is, they love you.


Yesterday was Mothering Sunday, started for the benefit of young servant-girls in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.  It was the one Sunday in the year those hard-working girls were guaranteed to have off so they could visit their mothers.  And so the custom has come down to us, and we visit our mothers if we can, and write to them or phone them if it’s impossible to get to see them, and remember them with love and affection if they are no longer with us. 


Everyone has or had a mum – except of course for Adam and Eve, who were made directly by God, who was Father and Mother to them, I suppose.  Even Jesus, fathered by the Holy Spirit, had a mother – the young girl Mary.  Mary loved and cared for Jesus from before His birth right through to the end of His life.  She even stood by the cross as he was cruelly executed.  And Jesus loved and looked after Mary, remembering to give her into the care of His closest friend just before He breathed His last.


Remembering things can be difficult. An elderly couple were concerned they were starting to forget things, so they went to see their doctor.  He confirmed that they were in good physical shape, but told them that it wasn’t unusual to become forgetful as they got older.  He suggested that they start writing things down.  That night the husband went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and asked his wife if she wanted anything.  Some ice-cream” she said, “write it down”.  No, I’ll remember” said the husband.  “And some strawberries.  Write it down.”  No, I’ll remember.”  And some whipped cream.  Write it down.”  No, I’ll remember”.  He went to the kitchen and came back twenty minutes later with a plate of fried eggs, bacon, sausages and baked beans.  The wife stared at it for a moment and said “Where’s my toast?


One of the Ten Commandments, repeated by Jesus, is “Honour your Father and Mother”. [Matthew 19:19] He did.  Do you?