The Mother’s Day service in evangelical churches is pretty similar wherever you go – something is given to mothers at the door (flowers, a card, a small present), mothers are honored at least once by being asked to stand or raise their hand, and the sermon focuses on mothering in one way or another. Often the children’s ministry gets involved in one way or another. Sometimes videos of children and mothers are shown.
All very sweet.
If you are a happy mother of a child with no problems.
Heartbroken women who:
- Are grieving one or more miscarriages
- Are grieving the death of a child they bore
- Are struggling with infertility
- Would love to have more children but cannot, either because of biology or unwilling husbands
- Have children who have left the church and are living apart from Christ
- Are struggling with feelings of guilt and doubt over mistakes they made with their children
- Are post-abortive, be it one day or 10 years after their abortion, and feeling condemned by God
Some carry pain they brought on themselves through their own sin, some carry pain that was pushed on them by someone else’s sin, some carry pain that is simply a result of the fallen condition of the world. All are hurting.
You may not know. Many of these women carry their pain deep inside where no one can see. The church and the larger culture have pressured them into putting on a happy face and never revealing their brokenness.
Mother’s Day is a day when the church can preach a strong message of God’s amazing grace and mercy, His forgiveness of sin, His ability to redeem and bring back the lost sheep, His fatherly love, His desire to place the lonely in families.
So often we miss it.
We don’t see the women who sit in church on Mother’s Day weeping tears of sorrow and pain instead of joy.
We preach sentimentality instead of the gospel.
We do our congregations a disservice when we do this, because the gospel is so important to those who are hurting.
The gospel tells us that Jesus was a human like us in all ways except sin (Heb 2:17-18). While he was on the earth he knew pain and suffering and sorrow.
All those who trust in Him for salvation have their sins removed from them as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12). Jesus is our once-for-all sacrifice to take away our sin and guilt (Heb 9:24-28) and give us new life with Him (1 Pet 1:3). All Christians are adopted into His family (Gal 4:1-7).
God comforts us in all our affliction (2 Cor 1:3-4) and He knows our tears (Ps 56:8). He has compassion for us because He knows our weaknesses (Ps 103:13-14). We may grieve for a while, but He will bring us joy (Ps 30:5). He is faithful and steadfast in His love and mercy (Lam 3:22-23).
And Jesus has promised that He is preparing a place for those who love Him (John 14:1-3), a place of eternal joy where we will see His face and share in His glory (Rev 22:4; Rom 8:30).
This Mother’s Day, don’t miss the gospel.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:1-4 ESV)