Summary: While written in the time of Pandemic, it is a celebration of God's Love for Mothers
Creator God, you said that even if a mother could forget the child she is nursing, you would never forget us! On this Sunday, as we celebrate mothers and those who mother us, we open by lifting some of them up to you.
First, we lift up mothers and fathers who are raising a child on their own without a partner. We ask that you give them extra strength!
We lift up those who hoped to be mothers or tried to be mothers and biologically it didn’t happen. Sometimes they felt left out of this process, and we ask healing of the emptiness of their arms today.
We lift up other parents whose arms are empty because they have lost children, whose hearts are especially broken on this day. And we lift up children who have lost parents, whose hearts are also sore. In this time of pandemic, we lift up those who are separated from their parents by doors and windows and walls. It is very hard to be apart from them.
We lift up mothers, we lift up children, we lift up all who are happy, and sad, and overwhelmed on this Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday. Amen
I chose our Scripture today to talk about a woman who was never named, but who played a key role. She is known simply as The Widow of Zarephath.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.
King Ahab and his wife Jezebel had turned the hearts of the people against God. As a result, Elijah called for a drought to hit the land to turn the hearts of the people back to God. As a result, there was little food and little water. And in the midst of the worst of it, God sent Elijah to a widow.
You may be aware, that widows and orphans have a special place in God’s heart because of their vulnerability. But on this Mother’s Day, I want to remind all mothers that God has them in His hands, like he has all of us.
In a way, we have been in a drought. No, I am not talking about toilet paper, or even the meat that is hard to find on shelves at the moment, we are in a drought of being able to be with people we love. We feel, at times, isolated.
Over the last few months, parents, and especially mothers, have played an ever more important role. They have added teaching to the list of their accomplishments. You may be aware that the average “teaching time” one on one, equivalent to an entire school day is only two hours. Which leaves countless unfilled hours that must now be filled.
The other parents we are missing on this Mother’s Day are parents who are hopefully safe while they live in assisted living situations. I know it has been hard for everyone to visit through windows because we can’t be together in person.
I say “I know,” because I have been there. You probably know that Patricia’s birthday is on the 29th of August, and that mine is the 30th. Back then, Moms spent 2-3 days in the hospital. Because babies were in the rooms with Moms, only a total of two visitors were allowed, and only for a couple of hours a day.