The Pastor's Peace - May, 2010
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There are many wonderful things about the month of May. Our flower gardens really start to come alive at the end of the frost season. The weather stays warm and so we get to enjoy the outdoors and all the activities associated with that. There is, of course, May Day, Memorial Day, and Mother's Day, which we'll celebrate on Sunday, May 9th. On that day we'll honor our mothers with flowers and with a general appreciation of mothers everywhere.

The founding of Mother's Day in the United States has an interesting history. One early call for a Mother's Day came from Julia Ward Howe, who in 1870 called for such a holiday as a reaction to the brutality, death and loss of the Civil War and its effect on mothers everywhere. The person most often credited with starting the holiday was Anna Jarvis, who in 1908 started this day intended for the second Sunday in May. She wanted a day when each family honored their own mother, hence the singular spelling of the holiday. Eventually her campaign for this holiday proved successful and was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

Although Anna Jarvis was initially excited about her victory, she would eventually regret it, calling Mother's Day her biggest mistake. Why would she come to this
conclusion? It turns out that Mother's Day quickly became one of the most commercial holidays in the country, as it still is today. Anna Jarvis felt that her holiday to honor mothers had just become a day of marketing and consumption. She felt that buying a greeting card just showed that you were too lazy to write a personal letter. Eventually, Anna Jarvis would be arrested for disturbing the peace while protesting Mother's Day.

There is an important lesson to be learned from the history of Mother's Day. We often confuse giving stuff and spending money with caring for someone. Many of the best things we can do for someone involve no money at all. As we celebrate this holiday, maybe we should think of something that would truly honor the mother in our family, rather than just running out to the store.

This, of course, goes beyond Mother's Day. We are called by Christ to care for one another and to be the body of Christ to the world. How can we best honor each other? How can we best show that we care? It might just be a phone call, or a visit, or a note. I can tell you from personal experience that in talking to people in hospitals and recovering at home, personal notes are always mentioned before flowers or other gifts. Have a happy May, enjoy your garden, and honor your mother.

Pastor Brian