It was a typical birthday party for a five-year old. There was cake, lots of balloons and lots of little friends running around. Then grandpa got the birthday girl’s attention for a few moments and asked her a question, “What do you remember about your very first birthday, the day you were born?”
The little girl was intrigued and confused by the question. But her grandpa told her where she could find the answer. He said, “Go into the kitchen and ask your mom about your very first birthday. She remembers every moment from when it was clear you wanted to be born today to when she first held you to her breast. I am sure she would love to tell you about that day in full.”
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’” – Luke 1:41-42. Elizabeth and Mary, mother of Jesus were two unexpectedly expectant mothers - one barren in her old age and the other a virgin. They were positioned by God to change the course of history! The journey through their respective pregnancies were stories in their own rite. Elizabeth’s husband was struck mute when he doubted Gabriel’s announcement that she would bear a son that will “go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah,” (Luke 1:17). It would be customary in that time for Mary to serve as a midwife for her cousin. If so, she would have been present when Elizabeth gave birth and when Zechariah was able to speak again and proclaim the boy be named John. What a wonderful birthday story for the ages! Of course, Mary would go on to have the greatest birthday story ever, found in the gospel of Luke, chapter 2. Every birthday is a miracle of God to be celebrated to the full. And every birthday should be a celebration of the mother that carried the child in her womb and labored to give birth. How ‘bout those moms! The charge to dads is to honor and celebrate moms every day!
It became a tradition for grandpa to ask his grandkids what they remembered about their very first birthday. He went a step further and made sure his daughter and daughter-in-law received flowers on each of their children’s birthdays. It was his way of conveying the love he had for mothers and the miracle of childbirth. The tradition of love for the mothers of their children has now been passed on to his son and son-in-law. The charge to the rest of us dads is to show special expressions of love to the mother of our children. Mother’s Day is a Hallmark holiday that serves as a good reminder of how moms should be celebrated. Birthdays are even better reminders. As faithful fathers, we should not need reminders - Honor and celebrate moms every day!
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and the way You love through mothers. I confess that I took Ma for granted. I was not a very appreciative son and even failed to be available to her when she grieved the loss of her husband. Forgive me. Thank you for the blessing Ma was to me throughout her life. And thank You for my bride and the wonderful mother she has been to our children. Help me honor her and all mothers by being the man, husband and father You expect me to be, and that she needs. May my day-to-day example honor and celebrate her. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father honors and celebrates moms every day.