Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 19th September the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me’.’ Mark 9. 36-37

A child’s life in the time of Jesus was rather precarious. Around 30% died before they reached their first birthday. In poorer rural communities until they reached an age where they could be useful in agriculture or domestic chores, they were a burden on resources. It Is not until they reached adulthood that their opinion would have counted. So, it is not surprising that children were dismissed as unimportant. It is the adults that compete for who is the most important.

Jesus’ words, however, reverse the priorities of society. It is the children who are important. The children who should be welcomed. The children who should be nurtured and supported.  Something we take very seriously in our mission as Mothers’ Union members.  Just look at the amazing work that is done in this diocese to support children. The work at Parc Prison where the children of prisoners are welcomed and supported in the play area at visiting time. The individual branch projects where children and young adults are supported at a local level, teaching them how important they are in our communities.

Then we have our biggest project, our AFIA caravan. The number of families enjoying a holiday may have been reduced during this pandemic but over the previous four years over 250 children have benefitted from a holiday at the seaside which their families would not otherwise have been able to afford. This is such a huge amount of love, welcome and support all made possible by the individual members, branches, and other supporters. I know for many people in the diocese fund-raising, buying gifts for the activity packs and other practical tasks are the main focus of their mission to support families and it is very much appreciated by those families who come to stay.

It is through this work that we like Jesus help reverse the attitude of society. This work puts family life front and centre, giving positive experiences that will continue to enhance family life long after the actual event is over. So, we as Mothers’ Union here in this place, pray for God’s blessing on our work to welcome families and young people. Knowing that it is through welcoming them that we welcome our loving Lord.

With all my love and Prayers

Revd Sandra