In the United States, even before there was an official Mother’s Day, there were efforts to set aside certain days to honor mothers. According to World Book Advanced, in 1872, Julia Ward Howe suggested June 2nd be a day of peace, honoring mothers in the United States. She held an annual Mother’s Day meeting in Boston for several years to celebrate the day.
There were others to follow, such as Kentucky schoolteacher Mary Towles Sasseen, who started conducting Mother’s Day in 1887, and Frank E. Hering of South Bend, Ind., who created a campaign to observe Mother’s Day in 1904.
“In one of those mad boundless leaps taken only by the most creative holiday entrepreneurs, Anna Jarvis went national,” wrote American Enterprise magazine, the publication of the American Enterprise Institute. “She decided that henceforth, on the anniversary of her mother’s death, all Americans ought to honor the women who gave them birth.”
Mother’s Day Voted Down!
The Senate by an overwhelming margin of 33-14 killed the measure by sending it back to committee. However, as American Enterprise magazine related, Anna Jarvis was not deterred. She called on the World’s Sunday School Association. By 1914, the idea of a Mother’s Day became the darling cause of members of Congress, and the holiday, set for the second Sunday of May, became part of our national culture. ( end of article )
Before the celebration existed in the US as we know it, the concept of ‘honoring motherhood’ has been tried and tested in various ways in differing times and cultures. Even the ancient egyptians, greeks and romans tied the ‘honoring of motherhood’ to the worship of their idols. So for the those that attempt to live according to God’s Word and stay away from things that are idolatrous or pagan in their nature, what do we do with Mother’s Day ?
Well, before Anna Jarvis and the Kentucky schoolteacher . . . before Julia Ward Howe . . . even before the greeks, the romans and the ancient egyptians . . . even before all of these, there was and is the ‘Ancient of Days’ and His Word. What does HE have to say about honoring mothers ?
Just that . . . “That you shall honor your mother ( and your father ), that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” . . . Exo 20:12, Deut 5:16, Matt 15:4-6, and Eph 6:1-2 . . .
And let us not forget Proverbs chapter 31 starting with verse 10 speaking of the ‘virtuous woman’ .
Verse 28 of that passage says that ‘her children rise up and call her blessed and her husband also sings her praises’ . . .
Here is just one more example of Father God laying down a mandate and a pattern for His people, and then the ‘enemy’ comes along and counterfeits it ( which is what he does ) or ‘we’ get all excited thinking that we have ‘entrepreneur-ed’ a ‘new’ holiday when all along it was written down in God’s Word for His people . . . “Honor your Mother”.
Should we honor Her everyday ? Sure we should. Is there anything wrong with picking out a ‘special day’ just for her ? If there is, I can’t find it.
THEREFORE . . . this Shabbat we will ( get the jump on everybody else a day early and ) honor our motherswith a little gift and give opportunity for ‘her children to call her blessed and for her husband to sing her praises’ . . .And while we are at it, we will have the ‘blessing of the children’ .
It reminds me of a line from an old song . . . it went something like this . . .
“Wrap up the babies and grab all the ladies and everyone come . . .”
So come on and we will see you at Shabbat . . .
‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this ( the keeping ) is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, YHVH , sanctify you.
Shalom U’Vrachot – Peace & Blessings – J & R
P.S. – Next Shabbat,- May 18th – there will be a time change. Another ‘note’ about that is coming on the heels of this one. Ya’ just can’t stand the anticipation, can ya’ ?