IN THE INTERIM
The month of May is a wonderful time of year. I always remember the part of a little song, “April showers, bring MAY flowers”. Though our azaleas and other flowering bushes peaked in April, we still have many beautiful flowers that will be making their May debut. The first week of May is when many of us will be putting in our vegetable gardens. The weather in May brings some of the nicest weather during the first six months of the year. The month of May is also the month when we honor our mothers on the second Sunday of the month. The history of Mother’s Day is interesting. The following is from an internet article:
Mother’s Day officially began as a tribute to one woman.
Anna Reeves Jarvis is most often credited with founding Mother’s Day. After her mother died on May 9, 1905, Jarvis set out to create a day that would honor her and moms as a group. She began the movement in West Virginia, which prides itself on hosting the first official Mother’s Day celebration three years later at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, according to. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Jarvis’ idea as a national holiday to be celebrated each second Sunday in May.
But before that, Mother’s Day started as an anti-war movement.
Although Jarvis is widely credited as the holiday’s founder, others had floated the idea earlier with a different agenda in mind.. The poet and author Julia Ward Howe had aimed to promote a Mothers’ Peace Day decades before. For her and the antiwar activists who agreed with her position, including Jarvis’ own mother, the idea of Mother’s Day should spread unity across the globe in the wake of so much trauma following the Civil War in America and Franco-Prussian War in Europe.
Mother’s Day is a $25 billion commercial holiday.
These days, Mother’s Day is a $25 billion holiday in America. More people buy flowers for Mother’s Day than any other time of year except during the Christmas and Hanukkah season. Gift givers spend more than $5 billion on jewelry alone, and nearly another $5 billion on that special outing. Then there’s $843 million on cards, and $2.6 billion each on flowers and gift certificates, according to the data.
Jarvis died regretting her idea for this very reason.
Commercialism is the exact opposite of what Jarvis would have wanted: In her lifetime, she went after florists’ aggressive marketing, eventually facing arrests for public disturbances. She also railed against first Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for interpreting Mother’s Day inclusively as a way to promote the wellbeing of women and children at large. She didn’t even believe in organizations using the occasion as a way to raise funds for charity; she didn’t trust the purity of their efforts and saw them as profiteering off the holiday.
The white carnation is the official Mother’s Day flower.
The white carnation became the official flower of the holiday shortly after Jarvis’ own mother died. On May 10, 1908, three years after that loss, Jarvis sent 500 white carnations to Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in her mother’s honor for that first Mother’s Day celebration. Jarvis compared that flower’s shape and life cycle to a mother’s love. “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying.”
This year at First Baptist Church we will take time to recognize and honor all mothers as we worship the Lord our God. As always, you are encouraged to invite your friends and family to worship with us.
In Christ, Pastor John