On Mother’s Day in 2021, we were able to do the usual thing at our church, and honour the mothers in person, unlike last year, when we were confined to our homes, and had to celebrate online.
Now, in all three of our Sunday services, we mothers were called up onto the platform, and the pastor prayed for us, before the little children handed out gifts. I would have been quite happy with the prayer, but it’s nice for the children to be involved too. It speaks of the generations following on, which God really wants us to understand.
I remember Mothers’ Days from my childhood, where we little ones from the Christian Endeavour Society stood at the two entrances to the church property with a tray of white carnations, and pins to attach them to the lapels and dresses of the members of the congregation. I always felt special when I made this small gesture. The people were effusive in their gratitude. Some already had their own flower in memory of their mother, but others didn’t have any white ones in their gardens. We also had one for ourselves, setting the example in honouring our mothers. I remember how it gave me great pleasure because my flower lasted all day! This year, we were given a choice of mauve or yellow chrysanthemums to wear; no white ones appeared on the table in the church foyer! Traditions change, but the thought is the most important thing.
We jostled on the platform, trying to maintain proper social distancing. The only man on there was the pastor, who ‘happened’ to be standing by me at the end of the front row. He held the microphone, and asked, ‘Are you a mother?’ ‘Yes’, I replied. He continued. ‘Are you a grandmother?’ ‘Yes’, I said, guessing what was coming next, and I was right! He questioned again. ‘Are you a great-grandmother?’
Later, I thought that I should have answered ‘YES!!!!’ in a loud voice to that final question, but I quietly replied, ‘Yes’. Except for my happy smile, my answer didn’t say what I was feeling. What a privilege to be a great-grandmother!! I think I was the only one there in that early meeting. There are several of us in the church, but the others would be at the later services. This moment reminded me of a wonderful promise from God:
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands ~ Exodus 20:6
When I first realised this, I was overwhelmed. For so long, I’d misunderstood God’s edict that the sins of the parents should be visited on three, or even four generations of a family. But this wasn’t the whole story. I only half-read it. We have such a loving Heavenly Father, surely I should have remembered that his love is everlasting, and he doesn’t give up on his children, and neither should we.
So I rest content in these words that the Lord has given to his people; not just mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, even great-great-grandmothers, but all the fathers too. I think of Naomi with her grandchild, born of her faithful daughter-in-law, Ruth. What a blessing her wonderful Descendant, Jesus, is to us all.
For years I’ve prayed for my children and the spouses they might marry, and I’m still doing it for my grandchildren – and great-grandchildren! If they don’t marry, then there are many other children in the world who require prayer, but don’t have grandparents in their lives.
So none of us need to miss out on enjoying this promise from God!