Mothering Sunday is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent and about three weeks to Easter. This is different from Mothers’ day, which is observed on the second Sunday in May. The latter has its origin in America and it’s purely a secular festival, while the former is Anglo- Saxon and is deeply entwined with the history of the Anglican Church.
The history of mothering Sunday dates back before the 16TH century when on Laetare Sunday, Anglicans would visit their mother churches and local churches where they were baptized. Later mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants would be given leave to visit their mother churches. Children or young people, who were serving as domestic workers, would pick wild flowers and place them in churches or give them to their mothers as gifts.
Over the years mothering Sunday is observed as a day for celebrating the gift of motherhood, and the place of women in the life and ministry of the Church. Typically in the Anglican Church of Kenya, it is witnessed by having women lead and minister in the Church. In addition, it is a day to appreciate mothers and acknowledge their pivotal role in building of the family and the community at large.
The role of Women in Church ministry and governance of any nation cannot be overemphasized. Women hold a critical place in the fabric of any society. It has been said that Women make better managers and bosses; they are considered judicious and humane.
The contributions made by Women leaders in our Churches and Country are remarkable. From the great conservationist and Nobel Laureate the Late Prof. Wangari Mathai to the many house wives who struggle to feed and raise their families in the absence of a male figure. Kenya is not short of Women leaders who have left an indelible mark on the tapestry and fabric of our nation. In spite of these great achievements, it is sad to note the struggles Women have had to go through to get their share in the leadership and governance of this Country. The Gender Bill of 2015 went through a series of back and forth before it was finally enacted.
On the other hand the Anglican Church of Kenya has come a long way. However, since the early 90s when Women were first ordained into the holy orders, the Church is yet to consecrate and enthrone a Woman as a Bishop. We are still enslaved in our patriarchal imaginations that suggest that certain leadership responsibilities are purely male-oriented. It is important to note that affirmative action must not be the only criteria for leadership. Other important factors must be considered also. Leadership transcends gender; it is about capacity and character.
Over the years I have used this desk to point out spiritual and social- political matters that affect the Cathedral and our Country. I truly treasure and appreciate the numerous responses I have received over time. I wish to unequivocally state that my write ups are non-partisan. When I speak against the ills in government it does not necessarily translate to support for the opposition or vice-versa. My role as Provost is purely apolitical and prophetic as we daily labor to espouse the teachings of Jesus Christ. Leadership is a heavy responsibility and the public must go beyond criticizing to upholding leadership. That’s the role of the mothers and the Church in general. Please uphold in prayer the Church leadership, the president and those in authority that they will be full of God’s spirit and wisdom
Have a Lovely mothering Sunday
“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time”. Judges 4:4
A JOURNEY OF REFLECTION: 7 DEADLY SINS VERSUS 7 HEAVENLY VIRTUES
SLOTH/LAZINESS VERSUS DILIGENCE
Have you ever thought of sloth/laziness as sin? Well, it is. It is to be treated as such and dealt with as such. Looking at Jesus’ itinerary, we see Him busy at work. He was not busy for busyness sake but for the purposes of the Kingdom of God. Kenyans are normally seen to be busy people, but it is important to ask if our busyness is productive and if we are busy for the right reasons. ‘Working’ in Kenya has come to be termed as hassling almost to suggest that work is a necessary evil. In this reflection work is seen as the effort we make to improve ourselves, our surroundings/environment and our society in every sense. On the other hand, hassling is seen as toil, which came about as a result of sin (Gen. 3:17). Toil therefore is not seen necessarily as a way of engaging for the purposes of adding value but rather as a means of survival – in this, the jungle rule would apply, namely: survival for the fittest. Here we will kill, steal, step on each other’s toes for the purposes of getting by and for self preservation.
Diligence gives the connotation of not only being busy, but also of being effective and productive. An ant is celebrated in scripture because of being diligent (Pr. 6:6-11). It is seen to appreciate seasons so as to do what is right in each; storing provisions in summer and gathering its food at harvest. Believe it or not, the animal associated with sloth/laziness is a goat. A goat is known for being rebellious and wayward. Being lazy may be seen as harmless, but is a strong statement of being rebellious, unsubmissive and reckless. “Sloth not only subverts the livelihood of the body, taking no care for its day-to-day provisions, but also slows down the mind, halting its attention to matters of great importance. Sloth hinders the man in his righteous undertakings and thus becomes a terrible source of human’s undoing” (Wikipedia).
Listen to an account about John Wesley, the well known Anglican Priest and theologian of the 18th century; “John Wesley averaged 3 sermons a day for 54 years, preaching all totaled more than 44,000 times, in doing this he traveled by horseback and carriage more than 200,000 miles, or about 5,000 miles a year. His published works include a 4 volume commentary on the whole Bible; a dictionary of the English language; a 5 volume work on natural philosophy; a 4 volume work on church history; histories of England and Rome; grammars on the Hebrew, Latin, Greek, French, and English languages; 3 works on medicine; 6 volumes of church music; and 7 volumes of sermons and controversial papers. He also edited a library of 50 volumes known as The Christian Library. He arose daily at 4 o’clock in the morning and worked solidly through 10 o’clock at night, allowing brief periods for meals. In the midst of all this work he declared, “I have more hours of private retirement than any man in England.” (Growing Kingdom Character 2011:163). You may be tired already by just reading this. But we agree that Wesley demonstrated a clear mark of diligence; he engaged in the kind of work that outlives a person and makes a difference in many generations. God calls us to diligence so as to make our lives count, so that we do not barely survive but live and follow the trail He has cut out for us. It would be sad at the end of our lives to think that there were sermons we never preached (in word and deed) books we never wrote, lives we never touched because of sloth.
Study Questions: Exodus 17:8-16 – Pray that God would cause you to see wonderful things in His Word
- How would you describe the relationship between Moses and Joshua?
- What is the importance of making pulling together as demonstrated in the passage under study?
- What are some of the ways Christians can work together for the progress of families, societies and individual lives?
- Prayerfully consider at least 2 things you will do to make a difference in somebody’s life.
Prayer: Holy God, we thank You for Your great love and for not treating us as our sins deserve. We pray that Your grace will be sufficient for us as we seek to fulfill Your will with every waking day. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.