Happy Mother’s Day! I remember a few years ago there was this movement to push Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day too I think) out of the church, with the rationale that these commemorative days actually exclude the non-parents and made them feel bad. The non-parents being those who aren’t parents for varying reasons from personal choice to medical issues to just plain circumstance, that is.
At first, I was willing to do whatever the masses thought was right for them, as while my family of origin observed these days, it really wasn’t that big a deal for us and so it’s not that big a deal for me now. So I was fine with whatever was deemed status quo.
But then as I thought about it more, I started to see how it’d be a shame to get rid of it. I started to see the importance of these days not just for those who are being commemorated and honoured, but for those who are doing the commemorating and honouring. Because it reminds us of the importance of their roles, the contribution they’ve made to society and our lives, and the value and worth that they have in our family, community, and world.
So I don’t say “Happy Mother’s Day” just to the moms out there, but to everyone. I don’t expect to be treated differently on Father’s Day as much as I think about my own father and what he means to me. I don’t think this day is to shame anyone, but to remind us all of the different parts we all play in great grand mosaic of life, to which we all belong and are connected to, shaping and forming us as we shape and form it, interwoven with individuals of all walks and backgrounds.
This is a vast world we live in, with diversity among us people and all species. I think it’s good for us all to uplift our differences, recognise our value, and honour all that people have done to further improve our lives, our communities, and our world.
These texts have a theme of Jesus being with us when he’s not physically with us. First we have Jesus ascending into heaven, then an exposition on us suffering with Jesus when Jesus suffers but also being lifted up with him when he is lifted up, and then we have Jesus praying for his disciples right in front of them, reminding them that they are very much connected and intertwined no matter what is to come.
And what is to come for the disciples is Jesus’ impending physical departure… but not a spiritual one.
For as Jesus says in this prayer, we are all connected, interwoven, entwined, and while we diverse in so many ways we are still joined as one through the grace of God. This is a gift, in that while we are different in background, upbringing, and culture, we all still contribute to the same community and body of Christ. While we vary in our talents, skills, and strengths, we all still have value and worth in the human race. While our roles won’t all be the same, our positions aren’t alike, and some of us are parents and others aren’t, we continue to build each other up with different and shared experiences and learn to support each other in our faith and life.
So on this day that we honour our mothers, let’s not just honour the person who gave birth to us and/or raised us and/or nurtured us in a maternal way, but let’s also honour the diversity of our community, the variety of gifts in all people, and the love that joins us all together as the body of Christ in the kingdom of God.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!