The second Sunday of May has been established first in America and later adopted by many countries including Singapore as Mother’s Day. Through the untiring efforts of Anna Jarvis, President Wilson Woodrow finally declared it a national holiday in 1914. It is a day to honour mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. However, nowadays commercialization has taken over the original intent of Mother’s Day. It is reported that in America, Mother’s Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like. Moreover, church attendance is also on the rise on Mother's Day, yielding the highest attendance after Christmas and Easter. Our nation is also not far behind in her commercialization of Mother’s Day. As I thought about Mother’s Day, I remembered my own childhood experience. I did not know, much less heard of Mother’s Day. However, one incident stood out in my mind. I was about seven or eight years old then. One morning when I woke up, I found my mother lying sick on her bed. She was always the first to be up doing her daily household chores. But on that morning, I was terrified to find her not able to do anything. For the first time, fear and sadness gripped me. I tried to push away the thought of losing her. As I came to her bed, I fought hard to hold my tears. My mother calmly assured me that she would be alright but she needed me to do an errand for her. Without hesitation, I gladly accepted. I even assured her that I and my other siblings would take care of her until she got well again. It took her unexpected illness to jolt me out of my own selfishness and to help me realize how much she really meant to our family.
I believed it was arranged by God to instill in me never to take my dear mother for granted. As I grew up, my early memory may have receded but it was never totally obliterated. Mother will always be mother to me. Even though she was taken home to be with the Lord about 10 years ago, I will always cherish the sweet and wonderful memories of her. I am sure many of you could identify with me. You too could relate some of your own memorable experiences with your own mother whether she is still alive or not.
Let us then do our best this Mother’s Day and honour them, either by holding precious memories of them or by showing our appreciation in tangible and practical ways. Let us not be guilty of the charge of Proverbs 30:11, “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.” Proverbs 20:20 also warns us of the consequence, “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” Instead, let us resolve to honour our mothers as king Lemuel did: “Her children arise up, and call her blessed: her husband also, and he praiseth her.” (Prov. 31: 28).
To all our dear mothers/grandmothers, we rise up and call you, “blessed” for all your love, care and comfort that you have showered on your children and grandchildren. Happy Mother’s Day!
Rev. Mark Tay