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The unpayable debt – you have two
May 4, 2009
by Rev. Paul Marggraf, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Delano

The second Sunday of this month is Mother’s Day, the day when we say what all too often goes unsaid: “Thanks Mom!”

It’s not easy being a good mom these days. As Janet Bly says in her book, “How To Be A Good Mother,” “Being a good mom can be backbreaking, heart-wrenching, and anxiety-producing. And that’s just the morning!”

Nor does being a good mom come naturally. It’s simply not natural to let your own interest take a back seat to someone else’s, even if that someone else is your cute, (sometimes) adorable child. “Thanks” to moms are well-deserved.

If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably spend at least part of Mother’s Day in a restaurant. That seems to be the most common way we say, “Thanks, Mom.” Year after year, the nation’s restaurants do more business on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year.

Even if you spend the day working from dawn to dusk just to make mom deliriously happy on “her day,” you will most likely finish the day feeling frustrated. No matter what you do, it never quite seems enough.

But, when you think about it, how could it be any other way? Mother’s Day is a feeble (but commendable!) attempt to pay the unpayable debt. How do you pay back in one day the unselfish love a mother shows her children? How do you pay back your mom? We were all several years in her debt before we were even capable of thinking a thankful thought! How do you pay the unpayable debt?

If we can understand how impossible it is to give our mothers fair and equal compensation, then we can also begin to get an idea of the debt we owe our Lord. Through the prophet Isaiah, God said, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast, and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15).

Because of His cross, we owe Jesus a debt of thanks that’s unpayable. It’s a debt that’s even bigger than the one we owe our mothers. After all, His love is even greater. That’s a debt that not even a mom can repay.

This Mother’s Day, remember your unpayable debts – you have two.

The grace of our risen Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.