The origins of celebrating mothers can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as ‘Mothering Sunday’.
This celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “Mother Church”.— www.history.com
In the United States, the modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother. The commercialisation of our holidays makes good business sense, but the true purpose of honouring those we call mothers cannot be denied. “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”—Proverbs 31:28.
I belong to this special tribe, having given birth to three sons in the last ten years. It is a double-edged sword that feels like a blessing, and sometimes a tremendous burden; I can feel overwhelmed when I am unable to consistently meet the emotional, financial and physical needs of my children.
Notwithstanding, I am fortunate, because I remember when my mother first shared her challenges. It would take seven long years before she gave birth to her firstborn, then five more for a second child. God’s plans are infinitely better than man’s.
I think about those mothers who this day may be experiencing anxiety, sadness, and frustration, not joy! Mothers estranged from their children, those caring for an adult child who struggles with addiction, dealing with the death of a child, and those who are mothers only in their hearts. Mother’s Day can evoke deep-seated emotions.
The Old Testament is replete with examples of women like Sarah the wife of Abraham. In her 90s, God delivered a child of promise and from her barrenness all the nations would be blessed (cf Isa 54:1).
Rebekah, after 20 years of marriage to Isaac, conceived and had twins Jacob and Esau. Even John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth conceived in her old age. Jesus called him the greatest man born of a woman.
I believe that mothers are anointed and appointed by God to fulfil a special purpose—giving birth is not a prerequisite for being a mother.
There are many who struggle with the responsibility, who are neither equipped, nor well supported within their communities to adequately parent those under their care.
Then there are mothers who exhibit great courage: refugee women all around the world, for example, who take monumental risks, even those coming to our shores, some pregnant, some with young children. Their hope is that their journey will allow them an opportunity to adequately provide for their children.
Today, let us remember all our mothers – anointed, appointed, blessed. Enjoy your day, Mothers!
This Mother’s Day editorial was done by Jamila Cross, one of our sports columnists.