Mother’s Day 2012

Welcome to the second Sunday in May also known as Mother’s Day.

Some interesting information about Mother’s Day.

It was an American by the name of Anna Jarvis who is was credited with the birth of Mother’s Day as we know it today during the early part of the last century and even though there have been various celebrations of Mothers in ancient history Anna Jarvis began the modern tradition.

Her mother Ann Jarvis worked throughout West Virginia in the US to promote worker health and safety and during the American Civil War and she organized women to tend to the needs of the wounded of both sides of the war conflict. After the war she became active in the promotion of a “Mothers’ Work Day” that, unlike the modern version of the holiday, specially emphasized the causes of pacifism and social activism. She organized meetings of the mothers of soldiers of both sides of the late war

At Ann’s funeral in 1907 her daughter, Anna Jarvis, passed out 500 white carnations at her mother’s church one for each mother in the congregation. The following year, she held a memorial to her mother and then embarked upon a campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized US holiday, a goal which was achieved when President Woodrow Wilson declared it in 1914.

By the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured by the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, she trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against what the holiday had become. Both died in poverty. According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said,

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.

Anna Marie Jarvis never married and had no children.

It’s interesting how traditions get started and eventually grow to proportions that the original could never really envision.

I know we can get all hung up about observing these traditions like Christmas etc, but they can be terrific times where people who may never be honoured in throughout the year can be.

This will not be a long message today as I want to spend some time in fellowship over some tea and scones that the setup team have prepared this morning in honor of our mothers.

I also want to have a time for an open mic where those who would like to affirm their mums can and even where some mums may want to tell us what they love about being a mum or to say a few words of praise over their own kids.

I personally think both Mothers and Fathers days are great ones to celebrate as they fall nicely into line with the biblical encouragement to honour our parents.

But one thing that I find interesting about mums is that they are often the ones that “typically” spend the most time with their children throughout their lives.

Even Jesus’s mum was not only their at his birth (couldn’t help but not be there I guess) but also at his death as well as being a regular throughout his life and ministry.

Isn’t fascinating that you hear very little about Joseph after their return from exile in Egypt to Nazareth when Jesus was a boy.

I love the way that Jesus honours his mother at his death.

John 19:23-27
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,
24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things,
25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Ephesians 6:1-4
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

There is something that we need to learn not only about honouring our own mums and dads but of also cultivating a culture of honour amongst ourselves.

It’s very easy to construct or formulate an opinion about someone and never have the grace to allow it to be deconstructed and reformulated. Let’s not be those people.

So in finishing off and continuing to develop a culture of honour amongst ourselves we are going to have a time of “open mic” for mums to be specifically honoured today.

May God bless all our mums today and always.

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