Believe it or not today is a really hard day to preach. You would not believe how many Facebook posts, how many blogs I saw this week that said not poke the sleeping bear and to leave Mother’s day to Hallmark. You would think that on Mother’s Day the sermon could extol how great mothers are or the sermon could say something about how wonderful being a mother and how great it is to raise a child.
The easy way to preach would be to say how great mothers are and many of us have had great mothers, and many of you are great mothers and we’ve had wonderful role models, who have taught us much about life, but the reality is some of us have not had great mothers and some of us may not always feel like great mother’s or great fathers and the role models we are supposed to be. The reality is that some of us have had mothers who were abusive, who hurt us and we still bear those wounds. Some of us have made decisions as parents that we might now regret—decisions that come flooding in on this day of celebration.
The easy way to preach would be to say that motherhood is wonderful—well yes it might be at times, but then sometimes motherhood is not so peachy. Motherhood might be described like that old commercial for the army—the toughest job you’ll ever love, but truth be told there might be times that you don’t love it.
Motherhood, parenthood is hard— it can be this emotional rollercoaster where you go from one minute wanting to wring your child’s neck to the next minute seeing the cutest thing—sweetest thing happen right before your very eyes.
It can be a rollercoaster you proud that your son or daughter they are off to college, but then driving away from campus after dropping them off and coming home to the empty bedroom is really hard.
And then there is the dynamic that for some of us motherhood never got off the ground –maybe fertility treatments that didn’t work or miscarriages—whatever it was. I was shocked to learn that 1 in 4 women has had a miscarriage. Some of us have lost a child or have lost pregnancies and our hearts were pierced and we will never quite be the same.
How does that play out today? How do we remember that today?
For some of us, today might be hard we may not have a mother any more to celebrate with—today sometimes wounds that you thought were healed are re-opened.
So today what does one say on this day? A day of joy and celebration but also a day of sadness, of sorrow, of regret.
I think we bring it all to God—the good and the ugly We bring to God our thanksgivings for the goodness of motherhood and we bring before God our wounds and ask God to bind them up- we bring before God our mistakes in parenting and we confess the ways we hurt our parents or maybe the mistakes we’ve made raising our children—for these kids they don’t come with a manual-we don’t always know the exact right thing to do- so do cut yourself some slack because I know that God does.
I think we stand with one another today- celebrating, but also offering the shoulder to cry on or being the friend to listen, being the friend that remembers.
I would like to end by sharing the wide Spectrum of mothering by Amy Young, it is found in your bulletin and is replacing the prayers of the people—we will blow by the Nicene creed say this and then come back to the Nicene creed.
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who walk the road of motherhood alone, we walk with you.
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be – we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption – we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.