For some, these holidays come and go pleasantly. For others, they are extremely difficult. And because of that, they present us with a tremendous opportunity to consider how to bring the gospel to bear in our family relationships. As I wrote last year:
If we’re going to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in our church, it’s really important that we make it redemptive. That we do it in a way that recognizes all that’s wonderful about our parents and is sensitive to all that’s awful. We must recognize the joys of those who love being parents and the sorrows of those who can’t be. Our celebrations of family should affirm what is sacred about parenting and offer hope to each of us, wherever we fall in the family spectrum, that where we or our parents have failed, God offers us a future that is whole and good. (Mother’s and Father’s Day, Everson’s Blog, 6/10/2014)
Again this year, I’ve decided not to plan our May 10 and June 21 services around Mother’s and Father’s Days. Last year the issue was time–Easter was late, and I simply couldn’t get a Mother’s Day service ready. This year, time is less of an issue, but competing priorities are. In order to create services that meet the standard I described above, I would have to set aside other work that is really important this spring. I had to make a choice, and this is what I chose.
On those Sundays, our morning prayer will be focused on mothers and fathers and sons and daughters. But the services will otherwise look pretty routine. Like last year, I sincerely apologize to those who are disappointed by this decision. And I hope that, like last year, you’ll understand my reasons for the decision, even if it is hard to accept.