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In the early 20th century, a woman named Ann M. Jarvis was holding a memorial service for her departed mother. It was at the service that Anna realized that her mother had silently labored all of her life in order to provide for her.

She began to campaign for a day to remember and honor mothers, and, by an act of Congress, the first Mother’s Day was celebrated on May 9th of 1914.

It was upon this event that President Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday each May would be Mother’s Day.1

As this Mother’s Day approaches, it is only right to bring each mother honor by demonstrating how vital they are to the physical and spiritual development of your congregation.

Consider the following Mother’s Day sermon illustrations, each of which speaks to one of the vital aspects of motherhood.

A Mother’s Hug

On his first day as a waiter, a teenage boy excitedly grabbed two dining trays full of food and carried them out, one on each hand.

Seeing the boy’s recklessness the manager immediately demoted the boy to dishwasher.

The boy was devastated. So after work, the boy rushed home and – in tears – spilled the story to his father. The father began to lecture the boy about his recklessness, and to advise him how to win the manager’s trust again.

After the lecture, the boy looked sadly at his father and said: “Mom would have given me a hug.”

A mother’s comfort can be a powerful thing. When a child is hurt, upset, frustrated or saddened, it is to the mother he goes running for comfort first, advice later.

A Mother’s Sacrifice

A young mother was trapped with her infant as her building was going up in flames. The mother called 911, coughing through the smoke.

When fire fighters arrived, the mother had died of smoke inhalation, and the baby could not be found. However, as they cleared the area outside the apartment, they found the baby, alive and well.

The mother had had the presence of mind to strap him into his car seat, and throw him through the window, clear of the flames. Rather than saving herself, the mother had given her life for her child.2

A mother’s child comes before any other concern in her life.

Honoring Your Mother

“Honor your father and your mother” is a command which is repeated eight times in the Bible.3  A person can honor their mother in great or humble ways, but any way we honor our mother, we honor God.

At a grocery store, a mother was considering cans of vegetables while her son was riding the cart.

The boy snuck a can of asparagus off the shelf and held it up to his mother. “Mommy! Let’s get this!”

“Ooo, Pumpkin, I love asparagus, it’s my favorite! But it’s just too expensive.”

At Christmas, the six-year-old grabbed a poorly wrapped gift and said, “Open this one, Mommy!”

The mother unwrapped it, and in her hand, she held a can of asparagus.

The boy beamed, “I saved my allowance for the whole year to get you that!”4

Mother’s Care

The Bible says that there is no greater love than to sacrifice one’s life for another person.5  Mothers make this sacrifice every day of their lives.

A Brazilian girl married an American man, moving from poverty in Brazil to middle class America. Her mother, who had support her family as a seamstress, was left behind in her one-room house. Soon after, the mother lost her husband. Yet every time her daughter got pregnant, the mother would come to America to care for the baby so the girl could work.

The mother spoke no English and couldn’t drive. Still, she cared for the children and cleaning her daughter’s house.

She always had a smile on her face. Her daughter and her grandchildren were her reward.

The mother was still there for them when her son-in-law was forced to have brain surgery.

Never forget the sacrifices your mothers make for you. Their family is their greatest accomplishment in life.

Adkin’s Poem

A 1927 book, titled World’s Best Loved Poems, contained this treasured verse:

“If I Only Was the Fellow6″

While walking down a crowded

City street the other day,

I heard a little urchin

To a comrade turn and say,

‘Say, Chimmey, lemme tell youse,

I’d be happy as a clam

If only I was de feller dat

Me mudder t’inks I am.

‘She t’inks I am a wonder,

An’ she knows her little lad

Could never mix wit’ nuttin’

Dat was ugly, mean or bad.

Oh, lot o’ times I sit and t’ink

How nice, ‘twould be, gee whiz!

If a feller was de feller

Dat his mudder t’inks he is.’


My friends, be yours a life of toil

Or undiluted joy,

You can learn a wholesome lesson

From that small, untutored boy.

Don’t aim to be an earthly saint

With eyes fixed on a star:

Just try to be the fellow that

Your mother thinks you are.

-Will S. Adkin

This poem does not say that your mother is deceived by your behavior, or that she sets you upon a pedestal. It says that she sees your potential, and always guides and encourages you to be the best possible you.

Do it Now

A man sat in the hospital and held his mother’s hand as she died. He recalled how his mother had raised him by herself; he had rebelled as a teenager; how he had pushed his mother off, until he heard that she was sick. As her health quickly declined, he tried to repair their relationship, but as she died in his arms, he was left with the guilt of all the years he had wasted.

Consider this advice:

If you have a smile for Mother,

give it now.

If you have a kindly word,

speak it now.

She’ll not need it when the angels

greet her at the golden gate;

give the smiles while she is living.

If you wait ‘twill be too late.


If you have a flower for Mother,

pluck it now.

Place it gently on her bosom.

Print a kiss upon her brow.

What cares she when life is over.

For the flowers that bloom below.

She will have her share up yonder,

scattered at her feet galore.7

Mother’s Day Sermons

The Bible is full of noteworthy mothers, from Moses’ mother8 who hid her child from death, to Samuel’s mother9 who dedicated her son to the service of the Lord, to Timothy’s mother and grandmother10 who tutored him in the scriptures.

These are the unsung heroes of the Bible. Though only a few lines may be dedicated to them in any given text, their influence rings across the scripture.

It may not always be easy to preach a sermon honoring mothers, but they deserve the honor nonetheless. Mother’s Day sermons are important, for, without mothers, the world could not survive.

Joel Furches is a writer who has worked for 15 years researching and writing on topics of religion. He has a BA in psychology and an MA in education. He can be found online at


  1. Kadavil, A (2016, May 8). Synopsis of Mother’s Day Reflections. Scriptural Homilies, Cycle C(31), 1.
  2. Ellis, R. (2017, February 4). Mom dies after dropping baby in car seat from burning house. Retrieved May 7, 2017, from
  3. Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16, Matthew 15:4, Matthew 15:6, Mark 7:10, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Ephesians 6:2
  4. Editors, R. D. (2016, May 05). 12 Short, Sweet Stories About Moms | Reader’s Digest. Retrieved May 07, 2017, from
  5. John 15:13
  6. Adkin, W. S. (n.d.). If I Only Was The Fellow. Retrieved May 07, 2017, from
  7. Godly Examples. (2016, May 8). Retrieved May 07, 2017, from
  8. Exodus 2
  9. 1 Samuel 1
  10. 2 Timothy 1:5


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