Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.
Some of us are biological mothers, adoptive mothers, surrogate mothers, mothers of lost babies (or adults), estranged mothers, longing to be mothers, heart broken mothers, motherless, and others have chosen not to be mothers.
But I would argue we all are created in God’s image, and we all are mother’s in some capacity though are wombs have never been filled.
In the Old Testament God compares himself to a mother. God bends down to feed us, teaches us to walk (Hosea 11:3-4), births us (Deuteronomy 32:18), offers kindness, compassion, grace, mercy, tenderness, forgiveness, and encouragement. Isaiah 49:15 is so compelling to me. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
Though your mother may have forgotten you, God never forgets to mother you! God is our perfect mother. This frees me to be the broken mother I am. I am not my children’s perfect mother. God is. And community, you are their mother too. We need each other. We are raised by a tribe of mothers. I have been mothered by my own mother, and by many of you.
On Mother’s Day in the morning service, the children and I celebrated all the women with a tissue paper flower. Because I need you. I need a mother in practical ways. And I need you to offer a motherly relationship to my children. There is a lot to hold on Mother’s Day. There is mourning for our losses and longings. There is mourning over the ways I sin as a mother. There is a beautiful dance of celebration and mourning. And I want to hold both with you. But I want to usher many of you into the discomfort of being celebrated as a mother. In community, you are my mother. You are my children’s mother. You are mothered by the perfect God.