Individuals as well as families across our country will commemorate Mother’s Day next Sunday (May 9th). There will be gatherings, gift giving, and gratitude expressed to mothers of all kinds who have shared light, love, and support in their vocations and personal lives. God willing and her husband following through, our family will celebrate the magnificently unique lens of love that is shared through Annie in our household.
Nevertheless, the celebration of Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) is awkward and challenging for us as a church. For one, neither Mother’s Day nor Father’s Day has a Scriptural, theological, or traditional foundation; they are secular holidays. Moreover, such celebrations often, at their best, remind us that “the world as it is” is so very different from “the world as it should be.” Motherhood and fatherhood are vocations that were not fully realized for some in our community. Others have complex relationships with adult children, parents, or siblings. A different number of us will remember a spouse, parent, or child on these days and be reminded that life did not unfold as planned.
Page 857 of the Book of Common Prayer defines sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.” For some of us, parents, grandparents, or parental figures were and even are walking signs of God’s grace. For others, the privilege of being a Father or a Mother is an opportunity to feel that grace. For others still, Mother’s Day can be a day of sadness in the recognition of loss or suffering.
Wherever you are next Sunday, I invite God’s blessing upon you from a community of faith striving to extend God’s grace beyond the limitations this life so often put upon us.