The mother of Mother’s Day would not like your plans for a store-bought card for Mom.
“A maudlin insincere printed card….means nothing except that you’re too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone else in the world,” Anna Jarvis once said.
Miss Jarvis, a teacher, was appalled to see what had become of her Mother’s Day by the end of World War II. She died in 1948 after fighting the commercialization of the day she established.
This year, Americans are expected to send more than 150 million greeting cards for Mother’s Day, and $200 million worth of flowers and plants will be delivered nationwide. Hallmark alone produces more than 1,400 different Mother’s Day cards.
The first official Mother’s Day service was held at Miss Jarvis’ home church, Andrews Methodist, in Grafton, West Virginia, on the morning of May 10, 1908. West Virginia declared it an official holiday a century ago–in 1910–and Congress followed in 1914 with a declaration signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
Today, people from all over the world visit the International Mother’s Day Shrine at the restored Methodist church where Miss Jarvis began a day to, as she wrote in 1908, “brighten the lives of good mothers. To have them know we appreciate them, though we do not often show it as we might.”
That’s still a worthy goal for the “holiday” 102 years later, to “brighten the lives” of mothers and “have them know we appreciate them.”
To the many of you in our church family who are mothers–who work at what Dr. James Dobson calls “the most important job in the world”–please know that you are very much appreciated. May the Lord Himself brighten your day this Sunday (and all through the year) with the satisfaction that you are making an incredible impact for His kingdom.
We’ll see you on Sunday.