Sunday, May 12, 2013

It’s Mother’s Day

It didn't exist as such until President Woodrow Wilson made it official in 1914. Though others considered a similar day (such as Julia Ward Howe’s “Mothers Day for Peace”) Anna Jarvis began work in 1908 to set aside a day for Americans to honor their mothers. She did so in honor to her own mother. She succeeded so well that it became nationally recognized and very commercialized.

According to Cristina Rouvalis in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on the 100th anniversary of the first Mother's Day service of May 10, 1908:
Miss Jarvis' image of Mother's Day was very specific. It was a singular Mother's Day -- not Mothers' Day. "She didn't see it as a holiday … She saw it as an intimate day between you and your mom."
That created some difficulties.

First problem is the commercialization – which was a serious problem for Anna Jarvis after the day was created. It reminds me of Christ speaking to the Pharisees:

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (Matthew 15:4-6)

Of what value is a costly gift without the intimacy? Do mothers really want a floral display over a conversation and hug? Not in my world.

Another problem exists for those of us whose mothers are no longer here for us to hug. We can best honor our mothers by accepting that of our children.

Still others are without their mothers here, and have no children. Opportunities remain to honor mothers through God’s word.  This is a very good day to follow God’s command with a promise:

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)

The first four commandments address man’s relationship with God – this one is at the top of the list of commandments for man’s relationship with his fellow man.

Spend some time reading about the mothers included in God’s word. Bring to life the daily activities of each one of those women as they slept through the night with one ear tuned to the needs of their families. They arose each morning to see to their family’s meals, whether fixed by their own hands or directing another’s.

There were chores to be done, lessons to be taught, tales to be heard just as there are today. There are things we ask of our children that they are not ready to do, but it gets done:

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (John 2:3-5)

Christ honored His mother’s request, though it was not yet time for miracles. As in all things, He is our example. As mothers, follow His example and pray our children do, too.

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