Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day

   When I was a child, we wore a flower in our lapel on Mother's Day, a coloured boutonniere for a living mother and a white one for a mother who had passed away. I don't know where that tradition came from nor why it seems to have vanished, but it's a nice memory for me.
      The photo at the top of this post is of an Edith Cavell lilac bush. My mom was named for that WWI heroine, so having the lilac bush in my garden is a sweet remembrance for me. 

       Mother's Day, as it is celebrated in North America, was begun by Anna Jarvis in 1908. She held a memorial for her mother  in W. Virginia. Commercial companies embraced the celebration as a sales opportunity. According to some sources Mother's Day ranks second behind Christmas as the most lucrative occasion in the merchant's calendar. 
        It is easy to write off Mother's Day as a Hallmark marketing ploy. And yet . . . Christian churches mark the day, calling it Family Sunday, in many denominations.How do we reconcile a commercial event with a worship service?
     The Bible is laced with verses about mothers. 
 Proverbs devotes the entire 31st chapter to extolling the virtues of a good wife and mother "whose price is beyond rubies." Here are some others:
  • “Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.” – Proverbs 23:22-25
  • “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12
  • “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” – Isaiah 66:13
  • “And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” – Luke 2:51
  • “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 1:4
  • “Then the mother of the child said, ‘As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So he arose and followed her.” – 2 Kings 4:30
  •  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Eph.6:1-3
  •  I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 2 Timothy 1:5 ESV
  • He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord Psalm 113:9
     For most children, "mother" represents security, comfort, nurture, forgiveness, knowledge and an abundant fount of love. Perhaps it is because mother-love can be a foretaste of the love of God for His children that the writers of both the Old and New Testaments singled out mothers for special appreciation.
   The sunday bouquets will fade and the last of the special feast appear on the table as leftovers, but "Mom" is steadfast. May we count our many blessings, as the year rolls on.

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