Happy Mother’s Day. This is Mother’s Day, so I tossed the lectionary and went with the flow. Here’s a little back story to today. Mother’s Day came about through the efforts of one woman, Anna Jarvis. Now Anna was very sad because her mother had recently gotten promoted to heaven and she wanted to do something to honor her. So, in 1907 she began a campaign to honor mother’s, and eventually in 1914 the United States recognized the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, as with most good things society commercialized it and Anna Jarvis spent the rest of her life boycotting the holiday she had created. So be careful what you ask for in this life, you just might get it. Regardless, today, Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world, although not always on the same day, it remains hugely popular and it should. After all we are honor the women who gave us birth and cared for us all our lives and still care for us to this day, as well as the Mothers of our children and no matter where they are or what we have done, our mother’s will always love us. So how does a modern-day holiday, relate to biblical life and vice versa. As you can imagine they didn’t have a holiday for mother’s back then. Joseph and little Jesus didn’t run down to the local Hallmarks and get a Happy Mother’s Day papyrus and give it to Mary. But, that’s because they didn’t need to have a holiday to respect their Mother’s. There is much conjecture concerning women in biblical society and the fact that they had no rights and were essentially chattel…property. However, that’s not entirely true. Women were respected, women ran their husbands’ households in a business-like fashion, often as a business. Women ensured that their families were clothed and fed. The bible tells us what a good woman should be and I am going to read the gospel according to Gene, if you’re interested and want to read the original it’s Proverbs 31. I have changed the wording slightly, so that it’s more relevant to us. Gospel According to Gene… A Good Wife Is? “Who can find a capable wife these days? She is far more precious than jewels. The husband who places his heart and trust in her hands will never lack for anything. She takes care of him all the days of his life. She works willingly for her family. She is thrifty with her money and provides good food for her family. She gets up early in the morning and makes breakfast for her family, even before they get up.
She is smart in her business dealings and invests money wisely. She is strong willed and has a firm hand. She knows her worth and does not lose it as time wears on. She works hard and is a good example to all. She is compassionate and helps those in need. She does not fear the cold of winter because she has provided a warm hearth and fine clothing for her family. She makes herself beautiful and dresses in fine clothes as well. So well has she provided that Her husband is well known and respected in the community because of her. She makes a profit on all that she does and cheerfully gives back to her community. She surrounds herself in strength and dignity and has a ready sense of humor. When she speaks it’s with wisdom and kindness. She never spends an idle moment. Her family has nothing but praise for her. Now the next two verses I didn’t change because they are timeless, “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. And finally give her credit and let her be praised by one and all.” So regardless of how you celebrate Mother’s Day today, whether you buy her a card, take her to dinner, or just tell her you love her. Everyday should be Mother’s Day, everyday mothers have a right to expect certain things from their families. The Bible tells us what they are. Not only do Mothers have a right to expect these things but they also deserve these things every day. Obedience…Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—this is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. The wisest man in the Bible tells his multitude of children in Proverbs 1:8 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching; and in Luke 2:51 when Jesus is twelve and, in the temple, after telling Mary “where else would I be but in my Father’s house.” Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Even Jesus was obedient to his mother. Are we? Do we obey?
Respect…Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”—this is the first commandment with a promise: and what does that promise include? That you will live long, and all will be well. Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. And for those that fail, there are consequences to disrespecting your Mother, just as there is for disobeying God. Proverbs 20:20 If you curse father or mother, your lamp will go out in utter darkness. Do you respect your Mother? Affection…1 Kings 19:20 He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Then Elijah said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you? In other words, Elijah is telling Elisha, who am I to keep you from loving your parents from showing that love? Do we show that affection to our Mother’s. How do you show your love for her? After all she has given you all her love and affection, all your life and will continue to all her life. Wisdom…This is a tough one. This requires us to be wise, not necessarily a common trait these days or then for that matter. Proverbs 10:1 A wise child makes a glad father, but a foolish child is a mother’s grief. And Proverbs 17:25 Foolish children are a grief to their father and bitterness to her who bore them. Your Mother worries over you constantly, since you were born, and she has tried all your life to impart her hard-earned wisdom to you, so don’t give her any more grief than she already has. Grow in wisdom as Jesus did, Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. Do you give your Mother wisdom or grief? Righteousness…You know there is nothing a Mother desires more than that her child is righteous, God too desires this of us. Proverbs 23:24-25 my child, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. When we do what is right and speak what is right we make our Mother happy and when we follow Jesus, Roman 3:21-22 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
We make God happy, when we make God happy through our faith in Christ we are called righteous, and a righteous child is a Mother’s delight. Are you righteous before God, before your Mother? Finally, there is Care…This I think is the most important, care for our Mother’s. They deserve our care. Single Mother’s, Widowed Mother’s, any Mother deserves the care of her children, if she has no children anymore then it’s everyone’s responsibility to care for her. We are called to provide this care and not to lay this responsibility onto another for convenience sake. 1 Timothy 5:4 If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God’s sight.  And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Not only do our Mother’s deserve our care simply because they are our Mother’s, but God demands it, God says that we deny the faith when we deny care for our Mother’s. Worse than unbelievers. James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. Do you care for your Mother; are you unstained by the world? So, remember. No matter how you celebrate this day, this made up holiday. No matter if you have it all planned out and it’s going to be a perfect day, this one day. No matter how much you honor your wife or your Mother this day. Remember that Mother’s Day is every day, not just the second Sunday of May. Your Mother, your wife, deserves…your Obedience, your Respect, your Affection, your Wisdom, your Righteousness, and your Care, every day. Amen.