If you were to ask everyone in the congregation who was born from a mother to stand up – everyone would stand. We all have or had mothers. Someone like me – I consider my mother to be the best mother in the world. But, to assume that every person in the church has fond memories of their mothers, or that “Mother’s Day” is the day everyone celebrates with joy and gladness is unwise.
When celebrating Mother’s Day at church, we must understand and recognize that there are those in the congregation:
- whose mothers died when they were very young, and they grew up as orphans
- who grew up abused by their own mothers
- who have been trying to have a child for years but are not able to
- who are single, and are praying the day does come when they are able to have and care for children
- who have recently experienced a lost through miscarriage or a failed adoption
- who’s mom passed away this past year, or, maybe even this past week!
- who’s child passed away recently and the mothers are grieving that day
- who’s parents are not walking with the Lord, and maybe have addiction issues, such as drugs or alcohol
- who’s parents are very ill, currently in the hospital or death-bed
- who never got married, and are past the age of giving birth
- who have a lot of guilt how they treated their mothers, but they dont have the opportunity to apologize
- who’s parents are far away, and your congregants have not had an opportunity to see them for years
- who do celebrate their moms that day, and want the whole world to know their mom was the best.
It is always wise to recognize such differences and circumstances, and instead of only focusing on those like me (who consider their mom to be the wisest, Godliest mother in the world) and making everyone else feel uncomfortable, let us bring it back to Jesus. This year at our church on Mother’s Day, we hope to declare this to everyone present:
- To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
- To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
- To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
- To those who experienced loss through miscarriage or failed adoptions —we mourn with you
- To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
- To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
- To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
- To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
- To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
- To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
- To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we pray that that season will come quickly for you
- To those who are single and past the age of giving birth, we recognize w/ you things don’t go as we always want them, but we trust God is with you that He is your inheritance
- To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
- To those who’s parents are far away today, we yearn with you for the day, when we will no longer have any distances
- To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
- To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
- And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
- To those who carry guilt for something you said or did to your mother or for something you said or did as a mother, we encourage you to seek reconciliation, if possible, even if it means speaking to a grave
- To those who grew up not knowing or being with their mothers because she died early, we remember you, and mourn with you.
- This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
Many of the points from the above list are taken from “An open letter to pastors: A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day” http://www.messymiddle.com/2012/05/10/an-open-letter-to-pastors-a-non-mom-speaks-about-mothers-day/