St. Stephen Lutheran Church
This weekend, we mark two significant holidays in Minnesota: Mother's Day and Fishing Opener. Like all holidays, there are people who spend months preparing for the big day, and those who only remember it at the last minute. There are those who mark these holidays with great fanfare, and many for whom it passes quietly. Each of these two holidays has its own particular effect on worship attendance; each holiday has its devotees and elements of religiosity, though neither is a religious holiday. Along with these similarities, there is at least one important difference between these two holidays: Fishing Opener generally has personal significance only for those who enjoy fishing, but each and every one of us is affected in some way by Mother's Day.
Though Mother's Day is marketed as a joyful holiday full of flowers, chocolates, gratitude, and beaming smiles, for many people the reality of the holiday is much more complicated. Many of us have great relationships with our mothers and happy memories of being raised by our mothers; many of us grew up without mothers, or had difficult relationships with them, or are no longer in contact with them. Not everyone has the same experience of mothering or motherhood. What for many is a fun holiday is sad and lonely for others. And rather than ignore this complexity, we would do well this weekend to heed the apostle Paul's advice, to "rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).
Wherever you spend your weekend, on land or on shore, in a congregation or at home, I hope you will join me in prayer this Mother's Day weekend. Pray for mothers, grandmothers, godmothers; pray for all who provide mothering care. Pray for those who have wonderful relationships with their mothers. Pray for those who have recently lost their mother. Pray for those raised by relatives other than their mother. Pray for women who long to be mothers, for those who have lost children, for those who have had to give up their children. Pray for women for whom motherhood is as easy as breathing, and for women who struggle to be good mothers. Pray for all mothers, and pray for all children of mothers. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, and pray for them and for their mothers.