Mother’s Day (and those other “holidays”)

This Sunday is what is known as Mother’s Day.  It just might be the busiest day of the year for the restaurant industry as children and husbands take mothers and wives out to eat.  It is said to be a day to honor mothers.

This has also caused a bit of debate with differing blogs offering an alternative view to this day, one in which these bloggers speak of how, in church buildings this coming Sunday, common practices designed to honor mothers  can actually serve to alienate people.  The result, they say, is that a division is caused among God’s people.

Ultimately, while spirited discussion can be beneficial, it must be done upon the foundation of the principle of which Paul spoke in Romans 14:3-6a:

The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. 

There will be differences in views about this.  Having the proper view of the discussion is very important in this.  People will have different views and a different view isn’t sin; it is a conviction for that person.  We must honor those differing convictions and not judge, for that person stands before his Master and will answer to Him.  It is not my right to put myself in that position that only God has.

On the issue of how to or whether or not to observe Mothers’ Day, ultimately, it is up to each individual church and her leadership, for they know their people.  

On a personal level, while I do observe Mothers’ Day for my own mother and my wife, I find that there is an interesting phenomenon present in this country.  Much like there are many Christians who on Sunday mornings are sitting inside a sanctuary acting one way and then totally opposite the rest of the week, somehow thinking that going to a worship gathering will somehow make their lack of living faith out the rest of the week okay, there are many who use the presence of a day like Mothers’ Day, a day set aside to honor mothers, as a reason to not honor their mother the rest of the year.

I am like this with all holidays, whether official or not.  

Everyday I celebrate Christmas, for I celebrate the fact that God sent His Son to this earth.

I celebrate Easter everyday, for I celebrate Christ’s resurrection which has given me new life, life eternal.

I want to honor my mother and my wife every day for their presence in and impact upon my life.  

The same with my father.  

Everyday, I celebrate the freedoms I enjoy in this country.

Everyday, I offer heartfelt thanks to my heavenly Father for His presence, provision and purpose in my life.

This list could go on and on.

Maybe, if people desire to have a day set aside to “officially” honor, instead of honoring just one aspect of womanhood such as only those who have given birth to a child, it would be better if churches celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) which occurred this year on March 8.  All aspects of womanhood are honored on that day, whether a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, etc.  The theme for IWD for 2013 was “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”

Ultimately, in all of this discussion about whether or not to observe Mothers’ Day in the sanctuary this coming Sunday and just how to appropriately do this, Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3-4 MUST be our desire: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

May through these words our desire be to unite the body of Christ, not cause divisions or classes of people for as Paul says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Shalom

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