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Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

08 May 2011
  Sorry, Mom
A Mother's Day Essay

The second Sunday of May is Mother's Day here in these United States. From its origins in 19th Century feminism and pacifism, the day grew into a general celebration of motherhood — and a bonanza for greeting card companies, florists, and gift sellers looking to make a few bucks on others' holiday zeal (or guilt). I won't belabor any of these points, although if you and your mom are somehow estranged, you have no day like today to start getting in touch with her.

No, the "Mom" in the apologetic title is another mother — the Mother of all Believers. And every Sunday is chock-full of kids who should be sorry about their neglect of her the day, the week, the month, or the year(s) before. Yeah, that Mother ... Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ, the woman of Revelation 12 whose offspring are borne in her womb and birthed in her font.

Mother and ChildMom doesn't want the kids just to visit on Christmas, Easter, and maybe Mother's Day. She'd like to have every one of us around all the time. All the good our Father brings home — reconciliation, protection, guidance, and direction — she readily shares with her family. She sets the table with the wonderful meal provided by her Firstborn Son and invites the rest of us to eat and drink. She misses the kids when they're too busy with other stuff to even drop by for a couple hours each week.

Like any good parent, Mother wants us to grow up. Unlike most parents, she doesn't want us to move out. Instead, she wants us to bring up our own families within the family the she's been raising with our Father. Another mouth to feed? No problem! Huge loads of soiled linens? Bring 'em on! Like Father, like Mother: She insists you behave yourself, yet she's always ready to forgive you when you don't.

So, how are you and Mom getting along? Even if it's been a while, she's always glad to see you. Just don't try to fool yourself into thinking that as long as you and Father are on good terms, you can forget about her. You see, they go together. Disrespect and neglect of Mother is disrespect and neglect of Father.

Our Mother's place is our Father's house, and He warns us not to be "neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some" but rather to cherish and seek out every opportunity to join the rest of the family in encouraging "one another to love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24-25)" Unlike our American secular holiday, the Lord's Day comes around every week — and each new Lord's Day also brings a fresh Mother's Day. With it comes a fresh opportunity to join with our Mother — and all our brothers and sisters — to celebrate our family, to have our dirty clothes replaced with the clean robes of righteousness, to have our spiritual hunger nourished and our need for communion and community met.

One last thing to consider — I remember asking my dad, "If you get Father's Day and Mom gets Mother's Day, why isn't there a Kids' Day?" Echoing who knows how many parents before him, Dad said, "Every day is Children's Day." For the Christian, this is especially true. Every day we live in our Father's grace is a blessed day for us. All our days are extra special when we spend them with our Heavenly Father, our Holy Mother, and all the rest of the family.

So this Mother's Day — and every Sunday — don't forget Mother. Bring a gift if you want; it's not required and she's happy if you just bring yourself. Come back home and rediscover how much she and Father love you.

Someone who regularly writes love letters to and about our Mother is Deaconess Carder of Quicunque Vult. She readily teaches and regularly reminds us that all Christians — men and women, boys and girls — are "Momma's Boys." Back in 2007, she posted Celebrating Mothers. Along with it, you might also check out 2005's False Momma's Boys.

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