I always approach worship on Mothers Day with some ambivalence. Of course, Mothers Day isn't really a part of the Christian calendar, though most churches now have at least some recognition of its significance. This year, it coincides with Pentecost so the combination of themes increases the challenges presented by this day.
However, the main reason for my hesitation is that I know that the subject is the cause of much pain and anguish amongst many of the people that we work with on a daily basis. Whether it's people who were abused by their mothers, or whose mothers did nothing about the abuse perpetrated by another family member, those whose mothers have passed away or perhaps abandoned their children for some reason or another. Then there's those who are mothers and are separated from their children, perhaps because they are in state care or have been lost to their mothers for some other reason. Most congregations have someone that fits into one of these categories: in our congregation, it may be more than half the group.
I don't want to dismiss the wonderful blessing that many people have enjoyed, who are lucky enough to have caring, nurturing mothers that have encouraged growth and gently nourished independence in their children. But for today, I would like to pause and remember the others that would rather this day could be skipped over.