May 21, 2017 at 6:09 am #828
It can be said that generals sacrifice their young to war. A mother will sacrifice herself to protect her young. The Song of Songs reminds us just how strong this love is, for “love is a strong as death. Its passions fierce
as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame, “ (SoS 8.6).
The other side of this is the reaction that it causes when those who are threatening or preying are stood up to or find they are not going to get their own way.
Our modern Mothers’ Day can be traced through three women: Anna Jarvis Sr, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis Jr. In 1858 the young Anna Jarvis fought to have women’s work as mothers and homemakers recognised as genuine work. Following the American Civil War she continued to lobby the government.
A few years later, Julia Ward Howe, best known for her hymn “Mine eyes have seen the Glory …” also known as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” (a title she rejected), worked tirelessly for peace and equal rights. Devastated by affects of the US Civil War, the huge death toll and horrendous injuries to so many young men and the hardships on both sides, she called for all women to rise up against war in all forms.
In 1870 she issued a Mothers’ Day Declaration. Following are some excerpts.
“Arise then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be of water or tears!
“Say firmly: ‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant
“Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience.
“We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
“From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, ‘Disarm, disarm’ … each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar but of God.”
Today, as we celebrate Mothers’ Day, let us not forget the fierce love for justice and peace from which it emerged. Let it not be lost to sentimental commercialism.
Grace and peace, James.
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