Summary: These are the hopes that Pentecost and Mother’s Day have in common: Someday we understand each other and from time to time we already do.
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come. Amen.
Listen for the Word of God in the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2, Verses 1 through 13:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ’Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ’What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ’They are filled with new wine.’
By luck, coincidence or God’s guidance today we celebrate both Pentecost and Mother’s Day. The original story behind the celebration of Pentecost we just heard. Now it’s time to remember the origin of Mother’s Day:
The "Mother’s Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level:
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
The Title of this Sermon is "Inspiring Mother’s Day". In most cases Mother’s Day is a stressful day. On the internet I found a Mother’s Day Planning Checklist:
- Buy Cards, Make Cards, Sign Cards
- Flowers sell fast around Mother’s Day. Buy or order a day or two in advance.
- Gifts: Shop & Order Early, Wrap Gifts
- Write a Poem
- Make Reservations — Restaurants see more business on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. Resorts, amusement parks, hotels and bed & breakfasts also fill up fast.
- Buy Tickets — Any event on Mother’s Day will probably be well attended.
- Fill up the Tank — As a courtesy to Mom and the rest of the family, make sure the gas tank is full.
- If cooking for Mom, make sure the refrigerator is stocked with the proper ingredients.
- Kids - Finish Homework
- Dad - Have the camera charged and ready.
So what do the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Day of Mothers have to do with one another? Both of them are universal: The Holy Spirit was poured out over all men and women once and for all. There is no need for a special ritual to apply sopmething holy to somebody formerly unholy. The message of Pentecost is one of equality: everyone has the Holy Ghost. There is no one who is better or worthier than anybody else.