If there ever was a holiday that needs reclamation it is Mothers’ Day!
Churches all over the United States report attendance on Mothers’ Day as one of the top three of the year – surpassing Christmas and/or Easter in some cases.
But, what is celebrated and valued is no longer a common-cultural experience for most people.
Significant numbers of our congregation have not had a positive mothering experience – for one reason or another.
And, of course, a number of our congregations are male and could never experience motherhood.
Other increasing numbers of folks have experienced a loss that precluded them from ever experiencing motherhood.
Others, through choice, or through no fault of their own, have never and will never experience motherhood.
And, still others experience mothering through persons not typical to a culture of 100 years ago.
It turns out that mothering is a very sensitive issue to very large numbers of people – and it takes a skillful preacher to be sensitive to their issues and craft a sermon that speaks to the needs of all in this day and age.
It is interesting to note that the one person responsible for creating and encourage the widespread adoption of a nationally recognized mother’s day, Anna Jarvis, lived long enough to see what was happening and spent her latter years trying to change the emphasis.
As we think of a way of celebrating Mother’s Day in a new way, there is much to give fodder to our thought.
Consider the first call for a mother’s day came from Julia Ward Howe, who dreamed of an international gathering of mothers pledging to protect their sons and daughters by ending all war.
And, most recently, a group of folks in the US call for Mothers for Action to work for peace on Mothers’ Day.
For years, after giving nod to the fact that all of us have mothers, I have proceeded to give homage to the role of women in our church and in our faith. The preacher doesn’t have to look far for sermon points to lift up the roll of women.
Taking a clue from the original call for a mothers’ day, we would do well to consider mustering interest in supporting a “cause” near and dear to mothers’ hearts:
We received a special offering on Mothers’ Day to support Baby Manna in Philadelphia which supplies baby formula for poor mothers in Southeast Pennsylvania.
Promote awareness of working mother’s issues.
Support a local women’s center.
Get involved in a Big Brothers / Big Sisters project.
Go to a nearby Senior Citizens Center
Support or start a day care center for working women