Synergy: Moms & Pentecost

Pentecost. What I love about this day is how loaded with paradox it is. Today, we celebrate a great coming that happens at the same time as a great sending out. Just as the disciple have started settling into a post-Jesus routine, the Holy Spirit arrives on the scene and insists that the disciples leave the comfort of the community and go out to spread the good news.

It’s a rare calendar coincidence that Pentecost comes early enough this year to land on the same Sunday as Mother’s Day. It feels oddly synergistic that these two celebrations both fall today.

And I can’t help but think of the parallels. I’m not a mom; just a daughter. So as my sisters and I hustle to make sure my mom is reminded of how much we love her, I wonder how she feels to celebrate being a mom on Pentecost. Does she ever feel like we are little tongues of fire in her life—she loves us and is comforted by our presence, but she also finds us slightly unsettling?

Moms and daughters have notoriously tricky relationships and, today, I wonder if it maybe has something to do with Pentecost. In my own family of three daughters, just as things fall into routine, we daughters manage to dream up some new adventure or make a twisty decision or test the waters with our latest idea. Daughters are full of paradox—we push and pull, we wax and wan, all the while needing mom.

It’s like the paradox of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit comes to remind us all that Jesus is alive and well—rejoice! Be comforted! But it also means the challenge is just beginning; there is much work to do. Moms celebrate our births, our arrival on the planet…and then begin the hard work of raising us—thank goodness!


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