Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day

My mother died on April 23, so our Mother's Day included a visit to her grave. This is a portion of my prayers from the worship services for the Third Sunday of Easter - Mother's Day or Christian Family Sunday - as I try to pray for all kinds of mothers.

On this Mother’s Day, we pray to you, God, mother of our hearts, that you will hold us in your warm and encircling arms, soothing our troubled thoughts, kissing better our hurts, disciplining us with love filled with wisdom, forgiving us when we stumble and fall. We pray for mothers; and we pray particularly for all of us who are in sorrow over the deaths of our mothers, for children who do not know their mothers, for mothers who grieve for children, mothers separated from spouses and children through travel or work or broken relationships, mothers who are estranged from their children, mothers who gave up babies for adoption, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, women who made hard choices not to become mothers, and women who have not been able to bear children.

140 years ago Julia Ward Howe called for Mother’s Day to be a day of commemoration of all killed in war, and of counsel among women for peace. We pray today, God of peace, for our world, trapped in violence; we pray for our wrestling with issues of war and peace, when so often in our broken world it seems that we can only achieve a limited peace through making war; we pray for victims of war and terror, for all the lives lost and changed since, and even before, 2001; we pray for your kingdom to come, your realm where there is no more death, or pain, or grief, for the former things will have passed away and everything will be made new. And we pray for ourselves, that we will be peacemakers, making peace with every little act of peace in our families and neighbourhoods and community and country. God, make us instruments of your peace.

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