As many are undoubtedly aware this Sunday is Mother's Day for better or worse. As a pastor I really haven't given the day a great deal of attention besides mentioning it in greeting. Some folks haven't cared for that lack of attention. Early on a church member criticized me pretty harshly for it, promising never to worship with me on Mother's Day again, and he kept that promise for 13 years.
Whether you necessarily care or not let me share why that choice was made nearly 30 years ago. In no particular order of importance. It is a contrived holiday to me (that probably pus me in trouble right away). Yes, I always honored my mother on Mother's Day, but there wasn't the need for a special day to do so. Far from being a perfect son, my mom did know she was loved on days besides a designated one. It is also the case that some people carry with them memories of mothers that are not counted as a blessing, and the reminder may be painful. Some have mothers who no longer live. Some will never be mothers, by choice or by nature.
So, we use the time to honor mothers, but we take more time than that not just one day, and we also honor all those who have mothered us, and take all the more seriously the chances we are given to do a little healthy mothering ourselves. As Proverbs 31:26 offers, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
Wise or not, let me share this maudlin little story; A man stopped at a shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived 200 miles away. As he got out of his car, he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong, and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have $.75, and a rose costs $2." The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose." He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers. As they were leaving, he offered to take the girl home. She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother." She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave. The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the 200 miles to his mother's house.
"Most gracious and loving God, we live in a world that doesn't understand what it means to truly love. Our examples of how to love are often shallow and self-serving. Help us to experience again your life-giving love in our lives. Amen."
Wednesday; Vesper service 6:30 pm
Thursday; Men's Night @ Old Chicago Pizza 6:30 pm