Hard to imagine now, but there was a time a million years ago, when I was a cub scout. As the annual celebration of Mothers’ Day drew near, the den mother announced that we were going to make presents for our moms. It was a different time and place, and cigar boxes were readily available. The plan was to make a jewelry box for our Moms out of the cigar box. We were going to decorate the boxes with various shapes of uncooked pasta glued to the cigar box with Elmers’ glue. Elmers’ because it was before the advent and popularity of hot glue guns in every household. At this project I dutifully labored. I persisted, and although I put a lot of energy into it, let me be the first to say that I was not proud of the end result. It was soooooo bad that I contemplated chucking the whole macaroni box spray painted gold so as to obscure the Dutch Masters into the nearest trash receptacle on the way home. But I knew that wouldn’t work because the den mother has sent a letter home alerting our moms to expect a great treasure for Mother’s Day.
“O, Greg, it is beautiful,” Mom exclaimed as I handed her the thrice ugly fruit of my labor. We both knew it wasn’t, but as a young boy, at that moment I learned a couple of things. Firstly I wondered either Mom’s gone blind, or she’s a lair and a terrible one at that; but secondly I learned a lesson about the giving and receiving of a gift, and I learned something about the sacrificial nature of a Mother’s love.
As we celebrate this Mothers day we give thanks for the witness of our moms, living and departed. Maybe not all our moms were perfect—as a priest, I am very aware of that. But ideally they all taught us something important about the gift of love and in many instances, were it not for the love of our mothers, there are those who might not know love at all.
Of course, the Gospel of Jesus also reminds us about the importance of love also. The gentle Savior’s insistence on love as the hallmark of what it is to be a part of His kingdom is a constant theme throughout many of the sayings of our Lord. It is the foundational mark of the ethic of what it is to be a Christian.
A seldom used collect from the Prayer Book reminds us “O God, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing, and without which whoever lives is accounted as dead before you.”
So strive to be loving in all that you do, and on this Mother’s Day, mindful of those lessons of love that we have learned from them, may I say for us all, “Thanks mom.”