Every year I write a post about Mother’s Day and how I don’t really like it–especially in church. This year’s post takes that sentiment, weaves itself into a bigger net, and includes a litany you can use for your Sunday AM worship if it fits your context. Here goes…
God of creation, you have been in the business of birthing your children for generations.
On this day, we thank you for the women who have desired to do the same, who have labored to become mothers through childbirth or adoption. We thank you for the ways in which they teach us to love and care for ourselves and the world around us.
We pray for the women who deeply desire to become mothers but struggle to do so. We ask that you provide hope in the midst of disheartenment and that you remind these women that they are by no means less of a person because of imperfect biology.
We pray for the women who have loved and lost children—for whom this day is fraught with painful reminders of who and what they have lost. We pray that they may encounter you in new and different ways through other children in their lives and find peace.
We thank you for the women who have made a difference in our lives as mothers, who loved and cared for us in the ways you would.
We thank you for the women who have worked to be the best mother possible but whose experiences of parenting have not matched their expectations. We ask that you bolster these mothers, reminding them of the ways in which they lived up to your idea of motherhood.
We thank you for the women who tried to be mothers, who may have failed because they lacked the resources they needed to be present as mother. We pray for those sons and daughters who mourn the mother they are or were not able to have, that they may find in you, and in this community, the deeply loving and nurturing presence they have missed.
We pray for those sons and daughters who are motherless because of disease and death, that they may have a sense of your presence in the midst of their pain and the solace and joy that come with fond memories.
We thank you for the ways in which our lives are shaped by our mothers, by our quest for motherhood, and for motherhood itself.
Above all, Creator, may we all work to be the kind of parent for our children and the children around us that you have been for your children for generations. Help us to look to your Spirit as a guide for being parent—for knowing how to love, when to speak, when to whisper, when to stay quiet, how to play, how to nurture and comfort, and how to be present.
We ask these things of you, in the name of our Brother, Jesus. Amen.
***I’ll also make an attempt at tweaking this for Father’s Day next month. Be on the lookout.