I like those greeting cards that have a photo from the 50's with a funny (and let's face it, often rude) caption underneath. A couple of weeks ago, I saw one which left me laughing out loud. A young man - handsome, smiling, dressed in a tweed suit - was writing to his mother saying something like: 'I'm all right for money and my washing is all done, so sorry but I won't be home to see you this weekend.'
I guess he loves her really!
Mothering Sunday is, of course, a big day for greeting card manufacturers and retailers - not to mention the flower and chocolate industries. It annoys me that they cynically exploit Mothering Sunday for pure commercial gain. But even so, it's a day I always marked when my mother was alive because, despite the unabashed commercialism, there is a genuine point to it.
Mothers come in a wide variety of packages. Some women aren't good in the role, and for their sons and daughters Mothering Sunday can seem like a huge chunk of hypocrisy. But that's unusual: most of our mothers make a pretty fair job of a role they get no formal training for. They may not be perfect, but most mothers do a good enough job that a word of thanks from their children isn't out of place.
So mothers of Sutton Coldfield, this Mothering Sunday we'll be remembering you at our 10am service, as we do every year. I hope your sons and daughters will be showing their thanks for you too, wherever they are.
I still think that card is funny though!
Reverend John Routh