Today I was in a somewhat unique position; I got to deliver a Mother’s Day message as a mom who is a pastor. I tried to redefine Supermom, whom we all seem to want to be, not as a mom who does everything but as one who shares with, shows up for, and suffers with her kids.
But there was more I wanted to say today about the lessons we can learn from Mary and Jesus as mother and son.
The story didn’t end with Mary at the foot of the cross, suffering with her son as he was dying. Jesus had final words for his mother:
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
As Mary and Jesus suffered together, as they realized their time together on earth was ending, Jesus had important and powerful words for his mother and his closest friend. Mom, here is a new son for you. Friend, here is your mom.
On one hand, this seems strange. No matter how much Mary loved this disciple, he wasn’t her son, Jesus, and she had other sons. Undoubtedly, if given the choice, Mary would’ve chosen Jesus over this disciple every time. No one could replace her son! Yet, here was a young man who was watching his closest friend die. Here was a young man who needed a mom to share these feelings with him, to show up, and to suffer as he suffered. And here was a mom who was a great mom, a supermom, a mom who experienced every parent’s worst fear—but a mom still.
Today is a difficult day for many people, especially women who can’t have kids, for moms who’ve lost kids and kids who’ve lost moms—no matter how old the kids and moms are. No one and nothing will ever replace your mom or having your own child! That’s impossible.
But could it be, that on this Mother’s Day, there still sharing, showing up, and even suffering to do? Might Jesus be suggesting to you, that there is a child who needs you? Or that there’s another man or woman who could share with you, show up for you, and suffer with you?
For all those who experience heartache today, know you are not forgotten. And, you are never alone. When we selected songs for today, we selected these words for you: Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did you leave us on our own. You are faithful, God; you are faithful.
God has always been with you, even if your mom has not. You are not alone. Your church wants to be your family just like Jesus created when he asked his disciple to make his mom family.