For many, this is a day of celebration and thanksgiving. We have had wonderfully devoted, loving and sacrificial mothers. We have been blessed with children and grandchildren. Yet, for others, it is a day of deep pain, sadness and regret. Some mothers have neglected and abused their children. For these (often adult) children, the thought of “celebrating” their mothers feels like pouring salt in a wound. Some of the mothers whom we have loved and depended on in so many ways have died, and some far too young. Many women who have longed to be mothers have not been able to bear children. In fact, infertility casts a silent cloud of sadness over many women at the same time that others experience the sunshine of a happy day filled with flowers and Hallmark cards. Of course, there are those mothers who have had children, and yet are filled with regrets over what they did or didn’t do. They long to go back and correct their many mistakes. And there are sons and daughters who face this day with tremendous guilt, not having shown the gratitude to one who made such devoted, loving sacrifices for them.
Wherever you fall in the spectrum this Mother’s Day, the one thing we have in common is the grace of God in Jesus. Grace for the abused. Grace for the parental failure. Grace for the infertile. Grace for the ungrateful. Even grace for those who think they did a good job and take pride in it. Actually, even parental victories are the results of God’s enabling grace.
Truth be told, there is only one perfect parent and only one perfect child. It is that now-grown, crucified and resurrected child, Jesus, in whom we find the grace we need to face both the joys and sorrows of Mother’s Day. So as we gather on Sunday, let’s remember that we come before a God who is eager to meet us where we are and give us the grace that each of us need. After all, as we say all the time, grace changes everything.
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