Her Ladyship Hon. Abbess Janet McClean OM, OHPA


As a woman, daughter, mother, Grandmother, Matriarch of The Mystical Order Ministries, I want to speak to the hearts of mothers today on this special day.  First, I want to thank God who is the Head of my life.  To my Patriarchs, my Archbishop, our Abbesses and the many ministers, and members, many of you being mothers.  Some of you have given birth to children naturally and some have spiritually.

On Mother’s Day, we honour our Mothers for all the good, the love and wisdom that they have given us in life.  On this day, I honour my Mother by sharing with my fellow citizens some of her wisdom gained through hard experience.  My mother, just like most other mothers, taught me how to live right, to love and respect others and to obey the rules of authority.  It is embedded in me at my ripe age and I trust that I can be of help and an example to you, not only on this day but for the rest of my life.

Many of our Caribbean women and mothers have broken the barriers of men, to excel to the very top of the Governmental ladder.  In Trinidad and Tobago, the Prime Minister is a woman and likewise in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Deputy Prime Minister is a woman.  Many women have climbed the corporate ladder and have outdone the men.  They have become Judicial Officers, Ministers of Religion and I am one example.  Yet in recent days, a woman (Judicial Officer) in Trinidad was gun down, and a young woman killed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and hundreds of girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria.  Those girls, if not harmed will grow up to be women and mothers for the next generation.  In America, three women escaped from slavery after been captured for decades.  Our societies need a change and only God can grant us this request.  I will try to minister to you and I pray God to grant you the understanding.

I want to talk a little about the Book of Genesis chapter 16.

In the preceding chapters, Abram has been given a word from God regarding his descendants, but in chapter 16 we find Abram and Sarai trying to ‘help’ the promise of God unfold regarding their offspring.  Hagar, the maidservant, becomes pregnant by Abram and as a result of her own trivial attitude and Sarai’s insecurity, Hagar runs away and finds herself in the desert.

We can learn a few things from this story:

1. God can redeem us from the past

In verses 7 and 8 God finds Hagar, and says to her ‘Where have you come from and where are you going?’

Hagar could only answer where she had come from – ‘I’m running away!’ for thousands of women around the world, their past continually haunts them and their present circumstances contain them.  Often they are victims of rape, HIV, abuse, domestic violence and rejection, trying to raise children against the backdrop of poverty, or fighting sickness and often expected to do all the work.  Perhaps as a mother or a father, or in fact anyone reading this email today, it seems like you are running away from the things of the past – always feeling held back and contained.  The good news is that God knows where you are and like Hagar, he wants to speak hope into your life.  It is often said you can run but you cannot hide, however, God has a plan for your life just as He did for me many years ago.

2. God has a purpose for every mom – In fact for everyone!

In verses 9 and 10 God gives Hagar a direction to go in – a vision of the future.  There are programs, for instance, compassion’s child survival programs that focus on pregnant moms, as well as, moms with babies and toddlers.  These women are not only getting instruction on nurturing children, health care and nutrition advice but are also finding spiritual direction and hope in Jesus.  The love, support and care they receive, all add to the release that comes from being found by God.  Suddenly their future is looking much brighter, and the training and skills they receive will prepare and empower them to provide for their families.

For every mom and everyone else reading this email, God says this to you, “Know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” Jerimiah 29:11

3. God Is the God Who sees you.

 Hagar discovered that as alone as she felt, someone was watching over her (verse 13).  Church, this morning – God sees you!  He knows where you are, he sees the tears that fall and the pain that you so often feel.  Maybe as a mom today you see things that others miss.  Perhaps for you, the tears are over a difficult or a disabled child, maybe a distant child or the challenge of raising a child alone.  God sees you!  His eye is upon you.

Perhaps part of our healing is tied up with ‘seeing’ someone else’s needs and making a difference to them.

4. Even though the situation may Get Worse – God still knows what he is doing!

Hagar, called ‘that slave woman’ by Sarah, recoiled back into a place of containment, separated herself from the promise – Ishmael – and began to cry.  We need to hold on to what God has promised.  Don’t give up – keep trusting even when it seems like nothing is happening.  God wants to cultivate a dependency and faith in him despite the circumstances.

5. God hears your cry

God not only sees but he hears and whispers to us “don’t be afraid.”  To Hagar, he said, “Lift the boy up, take him by the hand for I will make him into a great nation” verse 18.  His intent is to lift us, take us and make us into what he wants us to be.

Genesis 21: 1-21 Abram and Sarai have had name changes to Abraham and Sarah.  Hagar has now given birth to a son called Ishmael.  Sarah too has had a child called Isaac.  Once again jealousy and insecurity rise up and Hagar along with Ishmael are commanded to leave, but not before God reveal his purpose for Hagar to Abraham.  Abraham then provides her with food and water.  However, that soon runs out.

Proverbs 21:13 says “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”

In our communities, the Caribbean Islands and The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist, we have a responsibility to hear the cry of the poor and come alongside the hopeless and the helpless, whether in our local area or in another part of the world.

We can respond to the cry of mothers in the developing world by lifting them up, taking them and their children by the hand and giving them a great opportunity.  Just as God provided a well of water for them to drink (verse 19), why not partner with compassion to open up wells of provision – education, health care, social development, supplementary food, clothing and the opportunity to ‘see’ the one who sees them.  This is our opportunity to rise up and do what is right for our women and mothers.

To be a godly mother involves a right husband relationship, a right heavenly relationship and a right home relationship.  Hannah, Abigail, Sarah, Esther, Ruth and Naomi had all of that.  God honoured it.  There, they have given us a model to follow.

In closing let me ask a couple of questions.  What does this say and how do we apply this?  First of all, ask yourself, are you a godly mother?  Are you a godly mother?  Are you preparing to be a godly mother?  Are you, if you are already, older preparing younger women to be godly mothers?  And to the men, I say, are you creating the environment in which your wife’s godliness can have its best effect?  And are you raising sons who will lead their wives to be godly mothers?  And to you young people, I ask, are you honouring your mother?  Are you obeying your mother?  If God has given you a godly mother, God has given you the best of gifts.  None of them is perfect, but when they love the Lord Jesus Christ and have passed that on to you, they have given you the greatest present they could give.  Are you thankful?  And there are some who say, “My mother was not godly.”  Are you praying for her?  Are you praying for her and asking God’s Spirit somehow to bring you under the influence of a godly woman who can show you the things your mother never showed you?

The hope for our society really rests in what happens in the next generation which is so much in the hands of godly women.  Let’s lift up our women and mothers in prayer.

Father, we thank You this morning for what You have shared with us again through the leading of Your Spirit in the teaching of Your Word.  We’re refreshed, refreshed again to see how clearly You have given us the pattern to raise a godly generation.  Bless the mothers of this Mystical Order.  Forgive them, Lord, as I know You do for their shortcomings; even as You forgive us, do the same for the fathers.  Strengthen them all.  Those that desire to be mothers, keep them moving that they might be finally in that place where they can be godly mothers. Those that are presently mothers, may they look to the virtues that are exemplified in Hannah and Sarah and make them their portion daily.  To those who are beyond that, their children are grown and gone, may they instruct the younger ones.  God, we just pray that these children will be raised to stand strong, to walk with faith and courage, to raise a second generation who will live to Your glory if Jesus tarries.  Father, to this end we pray with thanksgiving, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Author: Godfrey Gregg