We try our best to be sensitive on Mother's Day. We recognize that not everyone who wanted to have children of their own were able to. We know that some mother-child relationships are strained or worse. We acknowledge that for some, Mother's Day underscores their mothers' physical absence from them (by death or division). We like to remind the church family that every woman has the opportunity to be a mother in the faith for another, regardless of whether they are a mother in the traditional sense of the word.
While there is much to celebrate on Mother's Day, there is also much to be sensitive about and I thought Grace Timms' prayer during the 9 a.m. sanctuary service handled all of this beautifully. I share it with you now out of appreciation for my mother, other women who have mothered me (in the best sense of the word), and for the wonderful women at Central who are helping to bring up disciples of Jesus Christ.
Oh Heavenly Father, we so often limit the fullness of your love for us by just calling you "father." But you are a God who birthed us into this world and who, through your Holy Spirit, draws us close and holds us tenderly in your care. Oh God, who came to Earth as a man but served unselfishly like a woman devoted to her home and family. And it was this selfless love that led to the cross, to an empty tomb, and to the ascension. We give you thanks for the blessing of that love for us that is so perfect. More perfect that any mother's or any father's love can be.
But today Lord, we give you thanks for the mothers in our life; for our mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. And also for the mothers who are not mothers by blood, but simply by love...unconditional love. We give you thanks for their work, for their laughter, for their food and their service which feeds both our bodies and our souls.
Lord, today we remember the mothers who are not with us and the people whose hearts are aching because don't have a mother to cling to. We pray for all the children in the world who miss a mother who cannot be with them. We pray for the children at Epworth Children's Home and the other orphanages and loving homes for children all over this country and world. Dear Lord, we remember all those whose hearts are grieving not just the loss of a mother, but that of a father, a husband, and friend. Please hold close the families of Wayne Lynch, Margaret Coble, and Jack Parker.
Thank you, Lord, that you love us, that you continue to bless us, and by that love we are called to love and bless others. In your holy name we pray. Amen.