Thank You, Woodrow Wilson!
Today is Mother’s Day, 2020, and it is unlike any Mother’s Day that any of us have ever experienced. That’s because we are approximately eight weeks into quarantine from the coronavirus and this social isolation is getting kind of old – in fact, many people are really struggling with being “locked up” in their own homes. And who gets the brunt of our frustration? MOMS!!!
Most of us don’t know, however, how Mother’s Day came into existence. The truth of the matter is that we have President Woodrow Wilson to thank for this official day of celebration. There were other mentions of honoring our mothers as early as 1872 by Julia Ward and in 1907 by Anna Jarvis, who both thought it would be a good idea of have a special day to memorialize peace and honoring our Moms. And, by 1911, many people were already unofficially talking about the impact of moms on our lives but it wasn’t until 1914 that President Wilson petitioned Congress and Mother’s Day was set to be celebrated the second Sunday of each May. In his official address, Wilson said that the holiday offered a chance to “publicly express our love and reverence for the mothers of our country .”
I have heard countless interviews this past week with mothers who are home schooling their kids and admit that their job has become even more difficult during the pandemic. That, in part, is due to the fact that a mother’s job is never done. Even as kids age, moms are always on duty – and that doesn’t change – ever – regardless of the age of your children.
Many times, it is a thankless job. Kids push and pull without regard to how their actions impact others. And, even as teenagers, all too often they are only concerned with their own lives and don’t worry too much about how others, especially mothers, are impacted. Of course, those of us who no longer have our mothers among us use this day as a time to remember our moms and all that they did for us during our childhoods.
How great it is that we acknowledge moms in every walk of life. They take care of us, nourish us, raise us – hopefully, with a value system we can be proud of and are always there to listen to us when we have problems. They even help us celebrate our successes. And as my grandfather used to say, “you only get one mother to a lifetime…”
However, there are many people who didn’t have great relationships with their mothers. And for them, I hope that this day isn’t too painful and that they can appreciate the intent of the celebration that most of us engage in. Likewise, divorce, sickness and death have left their mark on families throughout our great country. And in a way, this Mother’s Day is a little special for me…
My youngest brother passed away several months ago and this will be the first time that Mom has one of her children present with her in heaven. That’s a little tough to wrap my head around, but I am thrilled for Ken to be with Mom – and even more thrilled for Mom to have her youngest child with her. I didn’t even think of this until today….
Our verse for this evening is from the apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians. Paul compared his care for the people as a mother would care for and love her children. Paul tells us, in 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8, “We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to honor our mothers. The Bible is full of verses referencing how we should treat our moms. My prayer is that we will all appreciate the love and assistance that we have been given by mothers everywhere – maybe our genetic mothers, or women who have impacted us in such a way that we are grateful for them in our lives. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…