You are Father and Mother to all Creation.
You planted us and you nourish us.
You exist beyond our comprehension and
transcend the labels we use to describe you.
But we are label-makers,
and this Sunday we face one
we just can’t get right.
Too much, and it hurts people.
Too little, and it hurts others.
Also, and you know this, we have our own stories.
Our mothers have died
or are still too close
or were never close enough
or never quite meshed
or smacked us too hard
or nurtured us enough
or lived life with panache
or served you with whole hearts
or loved us unconditionally
or all these things, in unequal measure,
over a lifetime.
That’s just to get started.
Some of your servants are mothers,
and some have lost children,
and some wanted them but never did have,
and some never wanted to,
and some had more than they expected,
and some gave theirs to other mothers,
and some feel it goes by too fast,
and some wish it went by faster,
and some worry what their kids think of them
and whether they will remember this awful card holiday
and sort of wish they would
even though it shouldn’t matter.
Bearing all of this in mind and prayer,
we ask, Holy One, with your heart for all people,
give us a measure of grace with one another,
an instinct for the places where some hurt and others chafe.
Give us a measure of mercy and a big dose of patience where our mercy is strained and a sense of humor when people get on our nerves and a heart full of the unconditional love you give so freely to us, ready to share with those who need it most. Amen.
Originally posted as Because Mother’s Day (a prayer for pastors), May 10, 2014.