“They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” -Rev. 7:16-17
This Mother’s Day weekend our lectionary texts include these words of promise and comfort from the book of Revelation. The image of people gathered and finally being free from hunger, thirst and fatigue is a beautiful one. I feel my heart swell when I read those words. But it’s really that last line that gets me every time: “and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
This vision shows a tender God who lovingly holds the faces of people who have been through difficult things, the God who doesn’t diminish or brush aside the pain, the God who stays present as the tears flow and then, when the time is right, gently wipes them away. The God that we meet here is God, our mother. This embrace is a promise that the healing is beginning.
On Mother’s Day, we give thanks for all of the people in our lives who show us this divine compassion and empathy. The people who hold us. The people who give us comfort. The people who love us unconditionally. The people who remind us that we are not alone. The people who believe in us. We give thanks for the ones who embody motherly care in our lives and in our world. In doing so they also embody God’s generous love.
Of course, at the same time, relationships within families can be complicated. If Mother’s Day is a tough one for you, be gentle with yourself. Extend yourself that care and compassion you need. The promise of faith is that one day all of the brokenness is our world will be mended and we will all be healed. May you find strength in knowing that deep down in the core of who you are, you are beloved. God your creator, your mother, bless you and keep you.
Author: Rev. Sarah Sumner-Eisenbraun; Pastor, St. Andrew Lutheran Church