Thank You Mom!

     This Sunday we will celebrate Mother’s Day! It is a great opportunity to communicate our love and appreciation for our moms. Recently I was reading about the history of Mother’s Day. Many cultures have celebrated mothers, but here in the United States it was not until the early 1900’s that it became popular.

     Two women were instrumental in establishing our Country’s Mother’s Day holiday, a mother and daughter who both shared the same name, Anna Jarvis. The senior Anna, the daughter of a pastor, set out to create a day to honor mothers. She felt the scars of the Civil War could only be healed by mothers. Her desire was to see a national holiday to honor mothers. Unfortunately, she died in 1905 without realizing her dream.

     It was her daughter Anna, inspired by her mother, that took up the cause. She invested a significant fortune to carry on her mother’s dream. On the second anniversary of her mother’s passing, May 12, 1907, she held an event to honor mothers, the first Mother’s Day. The event gained popularity with a number of states officially recognizing “Mother’s Day.” President Woodrow Wilson officially established the National Holiday in 1914.

     But Anna became disappointed with businesses’ commercialization of Mother’s Day. In fact, in 1923 she filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother’s Day Festival that focused on making a profit by selling gifts and cards for Moms. “This is not what I intended. I wanted it to be a day of sentiment not profit!” She also said, “A printed card means nothing except you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”  And she continued, “And candy! You take a box to mother-and then eat most if it yourself. A pretty sentiment.” Shortly before her death in 1948, living in a nursing home, she received Mother’s Day cards from people all over the world. But she told a reporter that she was sorry that she had ever started the whole thing. Her desire was for mothers to be genuinely honored and appreciated for their roles in our lives.  (Source: Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations and Quotes).

     Let me encourage you to communicate your appreciation to your mother this weekend in a meaningful way. The first of the ten commandments that address our relationship with each other begins with our parents. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).  The Bible reminds us that our genuine care and appreciation for those who have done so much is a priority to God and us.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms! 

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

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