Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Mother's Day Blessing

In 1999 I was asked to lead a "prayer and blessing" for Mother's Day at Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, and I didn't exactly know what that meant. I turned it over to the Lord in prayer, consulted a bit with elder John Willis (who was to read a passage and lead another prayer at the service), and put pen to paper in hopes that the Spirit would supply the words I lacked. John intended to read from Isaiah 49. This is what I read that Sunday morning in May:

We call God our Father in our prayers and our private meditations, but we don't often think of Him in "motherly" terms. Yet, that is exactly how God chooses to express His tender affection and compassion toward His children when Isaiah speaks for Him in chapter 66, verses 12 and 13:

"For this is what the Lord says: 'I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you, and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

It's my privilege this morning to lead us in a petition to God for a blessing on those who give us birth, give us homes, give us love and give us themselves. If your mom is nearby and you'd like to hold her hand while we ask this blessing together, please do.

May the Lord always bless mothers like Eve
... who may have been suprised to find they are with child
... who courageously approach motherhood for the first time ever
... and some who later must cope with the untimely death of a beloved child.

May the Lord always bless mothers like Sarah
... who may have laughed at the thought of having a child later in life, but take the job seriously
... who may not see their child married, or see their grandchildren in this life, but have faith that they can still become the mother of nations.

May the Lord always bless mothers like Hannah
... who want a child so badly that they never cease to ask God's blessing in this way
... who are willing to give up their children to adoption by another family for a chance at a more blessed life
... who dedicate their children to the Lord's work and His house.

May the Lord always bless mothers like the prophetess Anna
... who may possibly never have children of their own
... and who, without a thought of bitterness, fast and pray for others at the Lord's house,
... and give Him praise for the children others have and bring there.

May the Lord always bless mothers like Eunice - and grandmothers like Lois
... who teach their children Bible stories
... who tell them of God's love and will for them
... and give them the gift of a faith as strong as Timothy's.

May the Lord always bless mothers like Mary
... who meet the challenge of rearing a child very different from His brothers and sisters
... who may have felt a degree of estrangement from a child who describes his companions as his "mother and brothers and sisters"
... but who never stop believing in - and supporting - their children ... even at the foot of a cross.

May the Lord always bless mothers ... but especially on this day, which is also the Lord's day. For "as a mother (who) comforts her child" has God so loved.

For all mothers we thank You and praise Your Name, Father; and all these blessings we pray through the Son who expresses Your love to us in its most eloquent way.

Amen.

4 comments:

DJG said...

Thanks Keith. I am sure all of the mothers present 6 years ago were just as touched by your words as I am today.

jettybetty said...

Keith, what an incredible tribute to mothers. Thanks! JB

JD said...

Keith, that is simply beautiful. I wish I had seen that in time to read it Sunday morning at worship. I will print it out and keep it ... you are gifted. You ought to write a book of prayers. I think people need help with prayers... I do at times ... and you have such a way with words... so warm. God bless you.

Steve F. said...

Another set of words I wish I'd written. Truly beautiful, brother.