Today is Mother’s Day 2015. I couldn’t help but think of my own mother today although she has been gone since 1998. And Janet reminded me that today is the second Mother’s Day that her Mom hasn’t been around either. Grammar school friends have been posting pictures of their mothers on this special day and how well I remember most of them – some of whom are also no longer among us.
But every once in a while I read a post about someone’s mother who was elderly and still living life to the fullest. What a blessing! In fact, it’s tough to identify with people my own age who still have their parents around. I have lived so long without the luxury of having my parents around that I have almost forgotten what it is like.
Invariably, each of the posts I read, and each of the Mother’s Day cards I noticed in the various shops, referred to being the “best Mom” in the world. In a way, I think it is great that everybody thinks their own mother is “the one” but I started to think about what mothers could universally be considered “the best.” And I came to the conclusion that it all depends on your point of view.
Many folks would vote for Mother Theresa even though she didn’t have any children of her own – her title came from her status as a nun in the Catholic church. And each of us could come up with a list of women who have impacted us greatly throughout our lives. I remember my best children friend, Bob Thompson, whose mother I referred to as “Mom.” But there are other memories as well about mothers. Even though I loved my mother-in-law for years before I ever married Janet, I was told that my in-laws preferred that I didn’t refer to them as Mom and Dad, as they were very particular that they only had three children – all girls – and the aforementioned titles were reserved for their genetic children.
On the other hand, my parents always referred to their in-laws as Mom and Dad, so you can see that there are many different traditions as to how people feel about the position of mother and father. Not so long ago, I was told that the words most on a soldier’s lips as they were in the process of dying had to do with their mothers… I don’t doubt it.
Arguably, Mary, the mother of Jesus, had probably the most important assignment of any mother who ever walked the earth. After all, she brought Jesus, God in human form, into the world He was destined to live in for a little more than 3 decades. And in the Catholic tradition, it is clear that Mary shares a very lofty position in the eyes of the church as the mother of Jesus. While other religious groups recognize the role of Mary, Catholicism certainly places Mary above other women who lived before or since. In fact, the caskets of the various popes have the letter “M” next to the cross on the lid of their final resting place.
But let’s not forget that in the eyes of God all mothers are important, and so are fathers, for that matter. We are told to honor them in the ten commandments and their are more than 300 verses in the Bible referring to the roles of mothers. But our verse for this evening deals with the beginning of the earthly life of Jesus. We are told, in Matt. 1:18, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”
My encouragement this evening is that most of us were lucky enough to have “the best mom.” And every once in a while there is someone who had a less than ideal situation at home. But God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and we are to celebrate mothers across the world this special day. My prayer is that you will continue to remember the important women in your life and acknowledge that God placed these special women there for a special reason – to help make you the best that you can be. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace, and to all of you best Moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!