3 Mother's Day Sermons for the Whole Church
After Easter and Christmas, Mother’s Day draws the highest attendance in most US churches. But unlike the church holidays, Mother’s Day comes with distinct challenges.
While many families gather to honor mothers by attending church, others skip the service entirely. Some still mourn the loss of their own mothers, and others might have grown up in abusive or dysfunctional households. You can add to that the difficulty many women face when sitting through a Mother’s Day service if they’ve lost a child or suffer from infertility.
Since there are so many who attend because of the holiday, you can’t ignore it—but you also want to be sensitive toward those who struggle on this day. Here are three Mother’s Day sermons that you can use to edify your entire church!
1. Biblical examples of motherhood’s difficulties
A lot of Mother’s Day sermons focus on the prestige and glory of being a mom. And while motherhood is worthy of incredible honor, not everyone can identify with these messages.
There are plenty of biblical women who demonstrate the difficulties of motherhood, and that’s a discussion that everyone can recognize. Moms can identify with them through their own struggles, and for those who need to be reconciled with parents or forgive mothers who have passed, it’s an opportunity to see challenges from another perspective.
Here are some examples of biblical women who understood the adversities of motherhood:
- Eve: The first mother who lost one child at the hands of another.
- Rebekah: Isaac’s wife who struggled with favoritism of her son Jacob over Esau.
- Jochebed: A caring mother who had to give her son Moses up.
These—and stories like them—help reinforce the hardships experienced by even the best mothers. It’s hard enough to take care of yourself, but when you add on the responsibilities and implications that those decisions have on our children, it can be overwhelming.
Our great assurance is that God is at work redeeming our biggest mistakes and accidents—for both parents and children alike.
2. The motherly characteristics of God
The Bible talks about God as our Father, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have plenty of attributes that we associate more closely with mothers. When Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, he says:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Jesus uses the metaphor of a mother hen to express the relationship he longs to have with his children. This is a touching moment when the best analogy at his disposal is one of a mother’s care.
Mother’s Day is a good time to talk about the more feminine qualities of God that can help us see both him and motherhood in a new light. And there are plenty of helpful passages to illuminate these qualities:
- God cares for his people like an eagle hovering overing her young (Deuteronomy 32:11)
- God is concerned for his people like a midwife cares for the child she’s delivered (Psalm 22:9-10)
- God will never forget his children like a mother will not forget their nursing child (Isaiah 49:15)
- God comforts his people like a nursing mother (Isaiah 66:13)
- God experiences the anger of a mother bear who’s been robbed of her cubs (Hosea 13:8)
3. Lessons from the life of Mary
It’s no surprise to hear a Mother’s Day message about Mary. She is the mother of our Lord, after all. But these messages often focus on the dramatic story of Jesus’s incarnation and the incredible and joyful obedience shown by this remarkable young woman.
What tends to get overlooked are the episodes that speak of her humanity and the complexities and heartbreaks she endured as the Messiah’s mother.
- Her relationship with Jesus and trust in God’s promise encouraged her to turn to him at during a wedding mishap in Cana (John 2:1–11)
- As Jesus begins challenging the status quo by doing things like healing on the Sabbath (Mk. 3:1–6), his family plans to collect him because they fear he’s lost his mind (Mk. 3:21); even though Mary isn’t specifically named, it’s she who shows up with Jesus’s brothers (Mk. 3:31)
- She watches her son get crucified (Jn. 19:25-27) and in that moment her grief mingles with her lack of understanding regarding God’s plan
Along with the message that parenting isn’t for the weak, we find many helpful lessons in Mary’s life—the chief being that it takes faith to trust that God’s plan is bigger than the potential you see in your children at any particular moment.
Mother’s Day Is a Great Opportunity
There’s no question that Mother’s Day is a critical day in the church year. It’s important that you honor those that have come, and that you can speak with sensitivity to those who are present.
Regarding the visitors that show on these special Sundays, we’ve put together a resource to help you retain them!