Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.

Proverbs 23:22-25 ESV

Americans celebrate Sunday, May 13 and celebrate Armed Forces Day Saturday, May 19. These two events commemorate and celebrate service to our nation. Mothers send their sons and daughters to war knowing full well the price that they may pay. Yet, without their sacrifice, all would suffer. Some mothers have suffered much that all may live in peace.

Gold Star Mothers are a select group. These Mothers suffer the loss of sons or daughters in war. They gave their most precious treasures to sustain and protect our nation’s freedoms and liberties. They, more than others, bear the cost of securing the peace that citizens enjoy every day.  Gold Star Mothers hang the “Gold Star” symbols of their losses in their homes in order to remind the world of the sacrifice paid for freedom.

Mothers suffer the burden and pain of loss, and society shares in their sacrifices. No other role shapes society more than does a mother. Mothers are the most intimate, influential, and transformational care providers of the young. They birth, feed, nurture, teach, protect, and mentor the next generation.

Christian mothers not only provide their children with emotional and physical care, but they provide for their children’s eternal well-being. They pray for their young disciples; they teach them of the Savior; they tell of the gift of life in the waters of baptism. Every day they manifest the love of Jesus in life and living.

Unfortunately, women receive mixed messages. Many women report that their roles as mothers compete unfavorably with career and professional success. Some share that they feel a bit uneasy among their peers unless they identify themselves as career professionals. Yet, what role in society is more valuable than a mother?

Society cannot pay enough for the losses that some mothers suffer; neither can society ever replace the roles that mothers fulfill generation after generation. It is well that the Church honors mothers, encourages them, and respects their sanctifying effects upon the Church.

The Church refers to St. Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God. She bore the Savior, nurtured Him, rejoiced as He grew in years and the knowledge of God, and ultimately watched with sorrow as He was sacrificed for the sins of humanity. The Church forever pays honor to Mary, the most blessed virgin.

Mary’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered much that the world would be saved from sin, death, and hell. St. Mary suffered a “Gold Star” loss as her Son’s sacrifice was for the peace of many. Her loss was the world’s gain—and her own. Humanity’s eternal freedom was won through the atoning death of the Savior. Jesus’ sacrifice rang in a new time of freedom that the Christian Church celebrates today. It is our season of freedom to bring the life-saving message of Christ’s atoning work to a world in sin and darkness.

Let us celebrate Christian mothers and the gifts that they bring to our Church.  

Alleluia, He is risen!

Gregory K. Williamson
Chief Mission Officer