For many, Mother’s Day is a day of joy, thanksgiving, and honoring special women in our lives. For still many others, Mother’s Day brings forth waves of emotions on the other end of the spectrum – ranging from grief and disappointment to even guilt and shame. As a pastor, I have heard how those who find themselves in the latter category usually skip going to church on Mother’s Day each May. After all, why submit oneself to a day of heartache when even the smiles of children and lovely flower corsages trigger pain and sadness?
While the history of Mother’s Day has both ancient mystical origins and a winding path through British and American history, from our perspective in the life of the church family, we acknowledge that mothering takes many different forms. And we humbly recognize that not all who fit the category of “mother” do so in ways that would make a nice greeting card to celebrate each May.
And so on Sunday, May 14 at Glenn, we will celebrate The Festival of the Christian Home. We will honor and celebrate the new babies born or adopted into our church family within the last year or so and we will honor and celebrate the men and women of our congregation who are 90-years-old and older. We will give thanks for the lives and examples of faith and love these remarkable nonagenarians have given and continue to give to our community. We will give thanks for the lives and hopes for the future these adorable babies already give to our community. We will celebrate that our Christian homes come in all shapes and sizes…and that God, as our Heavenly Parent, nurtures us and protects us like the wings of a mother bird covering her young. We will celebrate with those who celebrate their mothers. We will grieve with those who grieve for their mothers. We will lament with those who grieve infertility; we will join in sadness with those who remember a child or a mother once held in our hearts or our arms.
We will come together to worship – celebrating and giving thanks for milestones in our families and in our church. We will give thanks for the beauty and wonder of all stages of life – for newborn babies and young children, for teenagers and young adults celebrating graduations, for adults caring for both young and old alike, and for older adults sharing their lives of love and wisdom through the years. We will praise God for the gift of motherly love, both gentle and fierce, both strong and humble, both kind and true. We will remember and give thanks for all of those who have nurtured us with the love of a mother – our parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, teachers and caregivers, neighbors, friends, and even strangers.
No matter how long the waits are for Sunday Brunch after church and no matter if we forgot to send a card or not, we will celebrate and give thanks with those whom this Mother’s Day brings joy and thankfulness – and pray for blessings of love between the generations – from the youngest to the oldest. We will grieve and pray for comfort with those whom this day brings sadness, regret, or hopelessness – and pray for the Lord’s peace to abound for all ages, for all stages, no matter what our homes or families or hearts may look like.
So no matter what emotions this interesting “holiday” bubbles up in your heart, we hope you won’t skip church on May 14. Join us in celebrating arguably the most adorable members of our church family – the youngest and the oldest! And come early to sneak in a few baby snuggles or to be regaled with a story from decades ago from one of our seniors!
Grace and Peace,
Minister for Children and Older Adults
In the community:
"Hannah Service: an ecumenical service of lament, grief, and hope for those who have experienced infertility, pregnancy loss, and/or infant loss"
While any day can be difficult for those who are struggling, or who have struggled, with the grief associated with infertility, miscarriage, or infant loss, the season of Mother’s Day can be particularly trying. Join us for a time of prayer and reflection as we name and honor that grief, while striving toward hope.
When: Thursday, May 11, 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Parlor Room at First Baptist Church of Decatur (308 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA 30030)
Contact: Shelley Woodruff firstname.lastname@example.org