It was a simple request of a teenage daughter but it changed a mother’s life.
“Mum, would you do something for me?”
What mother can resist a gentle opener like that? “Of course dear, what would you like me to do for you?”
“Would you go to the Bible study at the rectory?”
In the range of probable or even possible pleas, this had not entered the mother’s mind. But which mother could refuse such a genuine request?
So the mother went each week to Bible study. And over the course of the next year her life was turned upside down by the Word of God. For the rest of her life, she never strayed from confidence in the gospel of Jesus.
Next Sunday we come again to Mother’s Day. Next to Christmas it is the easiest occasion to invite somebody to church. It is too good an opportunity to miss.
The most obvious person to invite is your mother. Take her to church and then out for lunch. It is so simple and straightforward. What mother would not accept gracefully such an invitation?
The other obvious invitation is to your children. Assure them that you do not want presents but they could do this for you. Ask them for the special treat of coming to church with you and then having lunch together. It is an undemanding request that is hard to deny. It costs them nothing other than time and a bit of affection. But it may change their lives.
Then there are the other members of your family. The grandmothers and the grandchildren can receive the same invitations. But it is not limited to them. It is possible to make this a much wider family affair. Your siblings can join in taking mum to church and lunch. Your nephews and nieces can join you in taking grandma to church or even their mother to church with you. The morning church meeting can become the gathering of the whole clan – though for some of us this means the sacrifice of getting up early in order to reach the older generation with the gospel.
There are also many less obvious invitations to remember. There are the people without families. It can be a tough time for people whose mother is dead and who are without children themselves. That is all the more reason to include them – invite them into the Church family. Remember them and their mother in your kindness.
And then there are the people in the shops who serve the flowers, the chocolates and the cards. They are part of promoting and profiting from Mother’s Day. Why not ask them how they are spending Mother’s Day and tell them your plans – even suggesting that maybe their mother would like to be taken to church.
Mother’s Day started a hundred years ago in a church. It is a celebration commenced by Christians. We are the people committed to relationships and families. Now all our neighbours celebrate the greatness of mothers. It is not a big step from celebrating Mother’s Day to honouring our mothers and acknowledging the greatness of God in their creation. It is not a big step from there to explaining the gospel.
Let’s connect with our community by inviting all and sundry – and particularly our family – to join us in celebrating Mother’s Day in church next Sunday.