The prophet Hosea 11:3-4 describes God as a mother in these words:
“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.”
We know what it feels like to be at the receiving end of care and affection. That tucking in of the blanket, the unexpected meal you did not have to cook, being picked up at the airport after a long trip, a touch, call, card or prayer shawl.
Signs of love, care and belonging.
My children were taught that Mother's Day included their Dad. That what Mom and Dad give to them comes from a parent's heart: loving as an act of the will, a sacrificial love, putting children's needs ahead of their own. In the United Church an attempt was made to replace Mother's Day and create a Family Sunday, a thanksgiving for all parents and individuals who show us such deep care. I like the idea but feel that emotional pull to name and even idealize motherhood. Between the ideals and reality is where most of us live.
I enjoy the words of this hymn:
God made from one blood all the families of earth// the intimate networks on whom we depend//
Through families we've tasted the values of trust and felt what it means to be loving and just.
Yet families have also betrayed their best goals, mistreating their members and bruising their souls.
(Thomas Troeger, 1988, VU#554).
We all need what goes beyond gender and biology, what is essential to every human being: to be loved unconditionally and to love.
Faith community can be this type of family, united by shared kindness and committed to the ideals of the Gospel and authentic relationships. As of our baptism our family name is: Christian. We are there for each other: brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts...in a circle of love and care.
May our Mothering God hold us, love us, care for us and be the Love that pushes us to live deep loving relationships!
Happy Mother's Day!
Bonne fête des Mères!
My Grandmothers and Mom are relationships that taught me much about life and faith, they are a precious inheritance. I found this prayer from an unnamed source that blesses all mothers, including mine, and share it with you:
Gracious God, we thank you for adopting us into your family through the miracle of your grace, and for calling us to be brothers and sisters to each other. Today, loving God, we pray for our mothers:
• who cared for us when we were helpless
• who comforted us when we were hurt
• whose love and care we often took for granted.
Today, mothering God, we pray for:
• those who are grieving the loss of their mother
• those who never knew their biological mother, and now yearn for her
• those who have experienced the wonder of an adopted mother's love
• those mothers and families separated by distance, war or conflict.
Lord, give them all a special blessing this Mother’s Day!