This Sunday is Mothers Day. Susan and I had planned, pre-Covid-19, that we would be arriving in Vancouver to be with my Mother this weekend. Then of coarse, all travel plans were cancelled due to the virus and we have been in lock down mode. My Mother will soon be 101 years old and lives in a retirement facility. They too, are in lock down mode and even flowers have to be left at the front door and disinfected before delivered to her by staff. It will certainly be harder this year than in past years to celebrate and honour our Mom’s. We are all in the same situation! Therefore it might be a little harder to show our appreciation for our Mothers this year; but there still is within us a wonderful appreciation for our Mothers.
There is a radio station in Ottawa that asked its listeners to tell why they think their Momsare so special. There is always a wide variety of responses: some dramatic teary eyed stories, some just everyday things that we often take for granted. It is still a pretty good exercise for us to take time to think what it is, or what it was, that makes our Mom special.
In many cases Mom is the one who encourages us! The one who bandages up the knee when we fall and hurt ourselves! Mom is the one we seek out for advice! Mom is the one who is so proud of us, no matter what we do or we don’t do. Mom loves us in our time of success and loves us just as much in our times of failure. The role of mother can never be underestimated.
Richard Hooker the great 16th century Anglican theologian used to say: “If I had no other reason and motive for being religious, I would earnestly strive to be so for the sake of my aged mother, that I might reimburse her for the care of me, and cause a widows heart to sing for joy.”
How many of us can look back at our religious experience and say that they were the result of a mother’s prayers or a mother’s example.
The Bible pays tribute to the mother who has faith in God with the words from Proverbs:
She is clothed with strength and dignity
She can laugh at the days to come
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed,
her husband also, and he praises her.
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Today we praise the efforts and accomplishments of all mothers. We give thanks to our mothers who we call blessed. We give thanks to those mothers who have gone before us as we remember them today with a special love in our hearts.
The Apostle Paul writes to his companion Timothy and says: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
It was these two women who brought Timothy to faith. In fact how many of us came to faith because of our mothers or our grandmothers, women like Lois or Eunice.
We hear story after a story of young people who have gone off like the prodigal son to do their own thing, only to come back to the Father, to come back to faith, because of the prayers of a mom or grandmother.
The pressures placed upon the young Mom today, especially during these pandemic times, makes the role of Mom even harder and harder. I feel for the young Mom who during this time of isolation now takes on the role of teacher. Many trying to juggle home life while working from home. Many Mom’s working in essential services who struggle with child care; Many Mom’s trying to figure out what is next with the loss of income. Whether a single mom, a working mom, a retired mom: The role of mother has never been more important than it is today. Let us pray for the Moms and Grandmothers in our church and in our families and in our community.
A few years ago I found a poem called Mother’s Love by Helen Steiner Rice
A Mother’s love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.
May the Lord Bless and encourage our Mothers today and in the days to come!
Rev. Merv Lanctot
Faith Grows in the Soil of Hope!