(Scripture references from New Living Translation)
Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. A day that was first celebrated in 1908 by a lady named Anna Jarvis – a celebration at her own church to honor her Mother, Ann. Ann had been a peace activist that had helped wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and Anna wanted to use this time to honor not only her Mom, but all mothers. Woodrow Wilson finally signed a proclamation in 1914 making the second Sunday in May the official day to honor all mothers.
According to Wikipedia, Anna eventually became very upset with the way Mother’s Day became so commercialized. She believed that with the purchasing of cards, flowers, etc. that the real reason behind it had been corrupted. She had wanted it to be based on “sentiment not profit.” She “argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards.” She even went so far as to organize boycotts and protests and was even arrested for disturbing the peace at one point. But, as we obviously all know, her efforts to make a difference in how the day is celebrated failed.
Her commitment to the base reason for the celebration is admirable. But, I would imagine that there are few people alive that would recall the beginnings of the occasion and what her intentions had been for the honor. Therefore, we all have known nothing but the commercialized way of paying that honor to our own Moms.
I know that I always loved seeking out that perfect gift and card for my Mom – to express to her how much she meant to me. As I matured, my Mom became my best friend. She loved me through all my ugly times and supported, encouraged and uplifted me when I needed her most. She was a very unselfish person that I believe during her last couple of years alive suffered a lot in silence because she did not want to upset or “bother” any of us. She was always a fun person to be around and had a special way of endearing people to her. I still miss her so very much. I hope that all of you have similar memories of your Moms that have gone on before us. If you are fortunate enough to still have your Mom in your life, make lots of happy memories while you can and treasure her presence in your life.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It talks at length about what it takes to be a virtuous woman. And verse 28a says: “Her children stand and bless her…” I ask you ladies, who among us that are mothers would not love to have our children stand and bless us? To know that our children can truly see and fully appreciate what we do for them? So do we really need all of the hullabaloo to feel loved and appreciated? If you are like me you would say that you do not – that a sincere handwritten letter to express their feelings for us would be enough. But it has been made so easy for a card to be purchased to express those sentiments and I know that we will all appreciate that effort and the gifts they choose to give us. (I mean, who does not like to receive gifts? Right?)
When I decided to attempt writing something specifically for this occasion, I sought out scriptures that dealt with mothers. What I discovered is that most of those verses had the mothers clumped together with the fathers. But one verse I found that addresses a mother only comes from a very familiar passage and never touched my heart as it did when I read it this time; and, it is dynamite!
John 19:25-30 says: “Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, ‘Dear woman, here is your son.’ And he said to this disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from then on this disciple took her into his home. Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, ‘It is finished!’ Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.”
Wow! Here is this woman that had likely had her reputation smeared because of the pregnancy she had with Jesus. This woman that had panic strike at her heart when on a trip her young 12 year old son came up missing – unknowingly left behind in Jerusalem. This woman that had to listen as people would deride her perfect son as he went about doing nothing but good for people. Then this final action that had to break her mother’s heart and spirit – as she watched her precious son hang on a cross like a common criminal. On that day, there He was, hanging on that cross suffering indescribable physical pain as well as spiritual pain we cannot even begin to comprehend. He had likely been hanging there on that cross for almost six hours at that point; but, the last thing that Jesus did before his death was to make certain that his mother was going to be cared for – this woman that he loved and honored.
Jesus gave us, in those last moments of his life, the perfect example of how we should love and honor our mothers – to always be concerned that they are cared for as they should be – to make certain they know how special they are.
To all you ladies that are reading this today – Happy Mother’s Day to you! To any men that are reading this, be certain to express to the mothers in your life (whether it is your own mother, the mother of your children or maybe your own daughters/daughters-in-law that are now mothers) how special they are.
Lastly I want to say – Punk Bragg, my most precious mother – I miss you and love you still!
Written by Karran Martin
May 7, 2019