Daily Devotional

 
For Oct 02, 2014 ← Return
 

Anna Jarvis

Average reading time is about 2 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  Anna Jarvis deeply loved her mother. Following her mother’s death in 1905, Anna campaigned for years to have a national day dedicated to appreciating mothers. She thought it should be a time for sons and daughters to visit their mothers or write letters expressing their love. Finally, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Strangely, years after she struggled to establish Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis then fought to abolish it. Jarvis had soured because of the way she felt commercial interests had eclipsed the real meaning of the day. She wanted Mother’s Day “to be a day of sentiment, not profit.” Beginning around 1920, she urged people to stop buying flowers and other gifts for their mothers. She referred to the florists, greeting card manufacturers, and candy makers as “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their
greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.” Jarvis became crushed and bitter, believing that greed had destroyed Mother’s Day, the holiday she helped create.

Near the end of her life Jarvis was seen going door to door in Philadelphia, trying to collect signatures on a petition to rescind Mother’s Day. In 1948, Anna Jarvis died poor, blind, and childless. Ironically, Jarvis would never know that during the closing days of her life it was the florist companies that anonymously paid for her care.

The Bible also warns about the danger of something sacred becoming over commercialized. “So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone
to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a “den of thieves.”’” (Mark 11:15–17).

Obviously, we should honor our mothers, and perhaps Anna has a point about turning special days into commercialized celebrations without genuine and heartfelt expressions. May our worship of God never turn into “pretty sentiments.”

KEY BIBLE TEXTS
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
- John 19:26


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