All photos in this post are from pexels.com.
One of our core values here at Our Savior is to foster a culture of care and belonging. That means that in all we do, we strive for inclusivity. Why? Because Jesus’ love is inclusive. After all, while we were still far off, Jesus who is rich in love and mercy, built the bridge, tore down the wall, and brought us back to Him (Ephesians 2:11ff).
So, it makes sense that when it comes to motherhood, we see and acknowledge that there is a diversity of experiences. From joy and euphoria to trauma and loss. And we know that joy and pain are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it is normal for both joy and pain to coexist in the same moment, heart, and experience.
While celebrating mom’s is not wrong, sinful, or bad in any way - we dare not idolize it. Moms and Mother’s Day is a gift - not a god. In fact, saying, “thanks, mom” honors God (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2-3).
At the same time, Jesus’ church has always been and will remain a place and a space for broken and hurting people.
What I’m trying to say is that this Sunday, we will be inclusive and say “thanks, mom” and empathize with the complexity of our human experience.
I believe that knowing what to expect lowers anxiety, honors people, and creates a safe space to experience God’s presence.
Here’s what you can expect this Sunday (Mother’s Day) at Our Savior.
We will see and acknowledge the joy of the day.
Moms, grand-moms, step-moms, foster moms, adopted moms, spiritual moms who don’t know they’re moms, moms whose kids don’t think much of them, and those who are a mom at-heart… you are all moms worthy to be celebrated. We see you. And we will love, celebrate, and thank you at the beginning of the service.
We will acknowledge and share the pain of the day.
We will pray for people who have lost their mom and are missing them today. We also hold in our prayers those who have been hurt by relationships with mothers. We are a place where people can experience love, grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
We will then turn our focus away from you and onto Jesus by living in the truth that our identity is in Jesus, not anything we do (including being a mom).
We are loved, forgiven, chosen, baptized, valued, equipped, and sent by Jesus - not because of anything we have done, are doing, or will do, but because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We will rejoice in hearing the words, “you are loved, forgiven, and at peace with God”. We will find joy in celebrating communion with all people. We will confess in the Creed that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life. And, we will be blessed to be a blessing to all people - whoever we are. In short, motherhood (or anything else) does not define, identify, or label us - Jesus does. Everything else is just something “we get to do” to love God back, love other people, and live like Jesus with others.
We will focus on Jesus, not ourselves.
Pastor Matt will lead us to sit in God’s Word and focus on how freedom in Jesus is a matter of our interdependence on Him. It will not be about mom’s, motherhood, or even womanhood. As always, Jesus is the hero - not us.
We will walk with you through the hard stuff.
If Mother’s Day is hard for you, we will have people available to pray with you and your family who need healing from miscarriages, struggle with infertility (like Beth and I have), abuse, and broken relationships. Jesus is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).
We have a sweet treat for you.
Finally, if you’re a mom, grand-mom, step-mom, foster mom, adopted mom, spiritual mom, or a woman who has or had a mom at one time - find Shelly in the lobby after each service for a sweet chocolate treat.
I know that we all have opinions (some very strong) about Mother’s Day. I’d love to hear yours!
Drop me a note…firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to listen to you.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.