I shared this prayer with our congregation this morning. Truth be told: Mother’s Day is a tricky holiday for me, as it is for so many. What a gift to give space for all of us around the table.
Good and gracious Father, we come today to talk to you about Mothers. Recognizing fully that within our midst some entered this day with pure joy, some with inescapable sadness, and many with some mixture of the two.
Some of us have recently given birth to new life and have bodies still recovering.
Some have never given birth and we carry disappointment, even pain within our bodies.
Others have lost a child and that pain feels like too much on the best of days, but especially on a day like today.
We have reason to celebrate and give thanks for all the ways our children succeed and thrive.
Yet, some of us parent children with high needs, and deep pain. We feel the weight of caring for them.
Some of us have empty nests and children who don’t call enough.
Others have a long list of accomplishments to brag about to the people around us and regular visits to enjoy.
And still others parent out of deep pain within ourselves and some days feel all too difficult.
There are those among us who are called mother biologically, formally, legally, officially, and those who mother spiritually, unofficially, as a part of our community.
Those of us who parent alongside present and available partners and with family close by.
And those of us who must be both mother and father and feel like we operate in isolation.
Far too many are longing for a family of our own, for healing, for hope, for restoration.
Some of us are separated from our children and denied the privilege of caring for them.
And within all of that, we so deeply love these children we get to walk alongside. Goodness, how we love them.
Spiritual mothers, biological mothers, adoptive mothers, not-yet mothers, and never-plan- to-be (please just stop asking) mothers …all of us come together today.
For all of us, we pray for your presence and blessing on us and on the ones we parent.
Some of us are fortunate enough to mother out of a deep well of good and loving mothering. We thank you today for the mothers who have mothered us well. We ask your special blessing on their lives.
There are those who have had to say goodbye to our mothers. Father, be near.
Still others of us bear the grief of having been mistreated, neglected, abandoned or simply ignored. We strive to mother with no example but in a way that breaks generational curses. Be present with us, dear Jesus. Mother us to better mother those in our midst.
All of us go to sleep at night at times both thankful and exhausted. Hopeful and worried. Proud and discouraged.
And so, today, we ask for your blessing. We ask for your courage. For your kindness. For your wisdom. For your mercy. for your healing. For your good and holy rest.
May the women in our midst—whether they are called mother or not—all feel you rejoice over us with gladness.
May we gaze in wonder and adoration at the children in our midst that you fearfully and wonderfully made.
Meet us today wherever we are. May we feel loved and cherished and held safe.
In your good and gracious name we pray. Amen.