April 20th, 2016

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are around the bend, days that present some conundrums for the church. Both days are relatively recent creations. They are not part of the Church Year, so it’s typical for churches not to focus on them too much in worship. At the same time many people want and expect to give thanks for their parents or the people who fulfilled those roles. Plus it can be meaningful to wear a red (in honor) or white (in memory) rose or carnation on one’s collar or lapel on the day. Such rituals have their place and enrich our lives. Certainly every wise pastor I know prays for mothers and fathers on those days, and makes allusions to the parenthood of God, whose unconditional love is both our example and our ideal. No one is an ideal parent, however, and the pressures on parents to meet unrealistic standards can be intense.

Rather than use such days to evaluate ourselves or our upbringing, faith encourages us to put our focus on others. For many years now Presbyterian Women have taken a Mother’s Day offering, whose proceeds go to mission causes. You will have that opportunity on PW Sunday, which will be on May 15 this year, the Sunday after Mother’s Day. Or you can make a gift to the Women’s Empowerment Project featured in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. There will also be an opportunity to pick up a Mother’s Day card on Sunday, April 24 and Sunday, May 1, in exchange for a donation toward these mission causes.  There may be similar opportunities when Father’s Day rolls around in June.

However we choose to honor our parents, or the spouse who is raising our children, we can always celebrate the extended family available to all of us—single, married, or widowed—in the body of Christ.
Scripture Readings: John 13:31-35; Acts 11:1-18