This old Spanish proverb says: “An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.” So, thank you, mothers. On behalf of all the clergy in the world, thank you.
Pastors wake up every day ready and willing to do what we’ve been trained to do: serve our flock. You wake up every day ready and willing – even though you’ve had no formal training whatsoever – to take care of your little lambs, your straying sheep, your fickle flock.
Pastors use some time each day to prepare a sermon for our congregation on Sunday. You preach every day – most often without much preparation – when you juggle the kids and the dog and the cell phone and use the other hand to pack lunches and fold underwear and wipe runny noses. And you do it all never thinking of what you’ll get out of it, never hoping for recognition, never waiting for a paycheck. Your sermons tell of love, humility, and generosity. They say lots about perseverance, hope, and faith.
Pastors put on our robes to cover up out-of-fashion ties so that our congregation focuses not on us but Jesus. You take off your make-up and any veneer of self-righteousness so that your children see you as you really are. Sometimes you holler. Sometimes you cry. Sometimes you laugh. Sometimes you scold. Sometimes you kiss boo-boos. Sometimes you hum or pray or sing. And your children see Jesus. Through you.
Pastors teach our congregation once, maybe twice, a week about the goodness and guidance of Jesus. You teach your children about Jesus with every decision they see you make, every TV show they notice you watch, every Bible passage magnet they read posted on the refrigerator, every voice inflection they hear you use when you’re talking about the weird neighbors, every prayer you say with them at bedtime, every one of their “why” questions you answer with a hint of God’s handiwork.
Ours is a noble calling, mothers. God puts us both – pastors and mothers – in a certain place, for a certain time, with certain opportunities, to use certain gifts. Our assignment from God is the same: to prepare those whom God gives to us for this life by first preparing them for eternal life. We take hands by first shaping hearts. You, mothers, are very dear to those under your care. Probably more dear than you know.
So, on this Mother’s Day we clergy just want to say “thank you, mothers” for helping to make our job so much easier. And, if you have an extra minute and you don’t mind, would it be possible for a few hundred people to live in your house for a while?