A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Gift that Truly Honors Our Mothers

In most of the churches I have served, it has been the custom to give small gifts to mothers on Mother's Day. This is, of course, a practice in many congregations. Over the years I began to wonder how little trinkets truly honored our mothers. Who needs one more key ring, cheap lapel pin, a potted flower or a little booklet with cliches on motherhood?

As I thought about this, I remembered that when I was in college over twenty years ago, a fellow student had a habit of making charitable donations as birthday gifts. She would ask the person whose birthday was approaching what charity he or she liked. When the day finally came, the person would find a birthday card in the mailbox stating that a contribution had been made in his or her name.

For many years I have contributed to World Vision. How surprised and pleased I was that on the occasion of my twentieth birthday, I received a birthday card in the mail from Shelly informing me that she had made a contribution to World Vision in my name.

Having reflected on that past experience, I approached our Administrative Council about five years ago and suggested that instead of giving all the mothers little gifts, we take the amount of money we usually spent (about $300) and make a contribution to the local crisis pregnancy center. What better way to honor our mothers than by using that money for young mothers and their children. The idea was accepted unanimously; in fact, it went over so well, that we decided to do the same thing on Father's Day. In honor of our fathers we gave a contribution to the Boy's Village, which is a local organization that helps troubled boys.

We all like to give gifts and it is appropriate that we do so, but some of the most significant and meaningful gifts come, not in the form of more things, but in the good that is done on behalf of others. There is no better way to honor our mothers on this day than to contribute something in their name that reflects their love, care, and sacrifice.

May all our mothers be blessed this day; and may we give gifts that truly honor them.

3 comments:

Christopher said...

Anna Jarvis, the creator of Mother's Day really hated the commercialization of the day. That her mother's favorite flower (the carnation) was mass produced was a tremendous insult. And Anna Jarvis thought that greeting cards were a poor excuse for the letter you were too lazy to write.

Brennan said...

Amen to that. I really think we ought to think where we spend our money, and how to make gifts a gift that matters.

Allan R. Bevere said...

I agree with Anna Jarvis. Giving has become too easy, too convenient.