While it has its roots in ancient antiquity, the modern version of Mother's Day can be traced back to seventeenth century England. “Mothering Sunday” was held on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Children who were away from home would return that day. The family gathered for a mid-Lenten feast with Mother as the special guest. Along with visits from their children, mothers were given treats of cakes and wildflower bouquets. The idea has evolved to “Mother’s Day” as we know it today. Along the way, what is obscured is the godly enjoinment of the 5th Commandment to “honour father and mother”. I would like to share the godly virtues of a godly woman – Anna the prophetess, with the hope that this will be an inspiration to the women in our midst. Here is her story as told by Luke:
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
After her husband’s death, Anna chose to stay single. She chose to share her faith to as many people as she could. She chose to serve the Lord. She chose to fast and pray, worshiping the Lord day and night. She chose to tell them the news of the Saviour that was coming, no matter how long it might be before he came. She knew her purpose and she didn't let anyone or anything distract her.
She didn't give up. For at least 60 or more years she “did not depart from the temple”. She shared her faith with people who came there. Think about it. If Christ had come the first day she was widowed, how many people would have never heard the message of salvation? We must never give up.
She did what God told her to do. Anna was told by God what to do and she did it. How about you? Remember the blessings of being obedient.
She teaches us to be strong. Despite being a widow from a young age, she exemplified that even in the worse of circumstances God is with us. You can be used by God no matter who you are, what situation you're in – married or single, rich or poor.
She was committed. Anna was committed to telling everyone about the coming Saviour, no matter how long it was going to take.
She had a lot of courage and was a strong witness for Christ. I am sure Anna spoke to some people that didn't want to hear her. But she kept doing it, telling about Christ’s coming. She had courage to do this alone.
To be a widow in Israel in those days was to be in very dire situation; it did not however, deter her from maintaining her witness for Christ.
What an inspiration! Mothers – have a blessed joyous day!
Pastor Robert Chew