22nd January

The Church Is Our Mother

My dear children, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you … the heavenly Jerusalem is free and she is our mother. Galations 4: 19, 26

One Sunday the ailing Mungo felt a keen desire for a hot bath. With loving care his Christian family lowered him in to the warm soothing water. After a time he rallied, and gave these, his final words to his friends: ‘My children … love one another … be hospitable … beware of heresy .. keep the laws of the church … she is the Mother of us all’. His jaw dropped and this dear soul, known as the Beloved by so many, was dead.

‘She is the Mother of us all’. The church is divine, though its members are all too human. Wheat and weeds grow together. Those who take their cue from the weeds become cynical about the church. Those who take their cue from the wheat become part of its divine work of fostering and mothering. Before Illtyd and Samson brought a renewal to the church in Wales most clergy were drunk. By the end of David’s life ‘everywhere are heard evidences of churches, everywhere voices are raised to heaven in prayers; everywhere the virtues are unwearedly brought back to the bosom of the church; everywhere charitable offerings are distributed to the needy with open arms’.

Lord, unlock the treasures of wisdom to me
but first give me a heart for humble learning