Mother's Day brings up different feelings. Some of you are happy to have the chance to spend special time with your mom and thank her for all the sacrifices she made on your behalf. For some this will be the first year to celebrate Mother's Day as a mom yourself. Others are filled with sadness because your mothers are no longer here, and Mother's Day just causes you to miss them more. Others hate Mother's Day because it brings up painful, negative feelings towards the woman who was your mother. Some of you feel guilty for the times you haven't been the mom your children needed. There's a whole other group who hates Mother's Day because more than anything else in the world, you want to be a mom. This day is yet another intense reminder to you that your desire for a child is unfulfilled.
As you think about your mom this Mother's Day, learn how Jesus honored His mom. If there were a Mother's Day in Jesus’ time, I know He would have made every effort to celebrate Mary's important impact on His life. The love He felt for her and His gratefulness for her were demonstrated as He hung from the cross. His longest discourse from the cross was about making arrangements for Mary after His death. (John 19:26-27)
Jesus’ life also demonstrates the importance of leaving your earthly parents in order to bond with God as your Father. This leaving process was first revealed when Jesus was twelve and was unintentionally left in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph were a days journey away before they discovered that Jesus was not with the crowd who were traveling back together. Frantically, they returned to Jerusalem and looked almost everywhere for three days before they thought of the temple. When they found Him, He had suffered no harm. In fact, He was teaching the scholars about God's Word. Mary was angry with Jesus for giving them such a scare, but Jesus asked her two questions: Why were you searching for me? and Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house? This was the beginning of Jesus’ spiritual journey which involved transferring the parenting bond from Mary and Joseph to God, His true Father. (Luke 2:41-52)
Later, Jesus demonstrated this same kind of transfer in Matthew 12:46-50 after He was told that His mother and brothers were waiting outside among the crowd trying to get in to see Him. Jesus didn't respond as you would expect Him to. He doesn't immediately get up and let them in. In fact, He ignores that they are there and instead points to His disciples, claiming that they are His mother and brothers and sisters. Jesus didn't let His family in because they didn't understand who He was. They still saw Jesus as their brother and Mary's son. They didn't see Him as the Son of God as His disciples did.
Honoring our mother on Mother's Day involves recognizing what she did and didn't do to bring you closer to God as your parent. It might include missing her, loving her or feeling some leftover pain about her. It can be a day to remind yourself that you are not only your mother's child, but you are God's daughter or son. As you celebrate your mother on Mother's Day, also celebrate your Heavenly Father who claims you as His child. 1 John 3:1 says: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!