As we anticipate Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, we are conscious of the ambivalence this day brings for us as a church community.
On the one hand, we rejoice in God’s gift of children to our mothers (and fathers). And we take time to consider the dignity of women and the significance of God-ordained motherhood. This is a time for celebration and thankfulness.
But, on the other hand, as we “mourn with those who mourn” (Rom 12:15), we remain aware of our members for whom this day quite forcefully reminds them — often in silence, secret, and solitude — of their grief, of the desire for motherhood unmet or lost through the experience of infertility, miscarriage, abortion, and a variety of other reasons.
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A Mother’s Day Lament:
We recognize on a day like today that everything in God’s creation isn’t as it should be. Sin has broken families and caused deep pain and heartache, and suffering in creation has led to suffering in the flesh—some who long to be parents are unable to experience that joy. Let’s pray together, knowing that God hears us in our pain and sadness:
‘Lord, on this Mother’s Day
we lift up the aching hearts
of all those who long to be mothers,
but mourn the absence of new life within them;
who have conceived,
but suffered loss through miscarriage or abortion;
who have given birth,
but endured the tragedy of burying a child.
Their grief is often hidden from us
or neglected on this day of celebration of motherhood.
We pray that they may experience healing in this church family.
How long, O Lord, must death get its way at the outset of new life?
How long must joy be deferred or interrupted by such cruel sorrow?
Risen Lord of life, grant them comfort and peace,
breathe in us all the breath of new life.
Through Jesus Christ,
who defeated death,
* Written by Nathan Bierma