Moderator's Mother's Day message

Mother’s Day, Sunday 10 May

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother”.
John 19: 26-27.

Mother is God’s plan for humanity - for the human life to be carried, born, nurtured and reared.  It is a plan patterned in love since the beginning of creation.  There is no plan B, no other means of procreation.  There never was.  Every living person is born of a mother.  And we each are indebted and grateful for each of our own mothers without whom we would not experience life.  Bless you our dear mothers.

Mothers also show up in different forms.  Usually, the norm is as our biological mother.  But mother can also describe those who cared for you, took you in, provided for you, gave you a home, adopted you, were a guardian, step or foster mother to you…the list goes on.  Mothers come in many different roles. Their characteristics are all similar as providers of love, care, food, shelter, education, discipline, comfort, attention and so much more.  Mothers are sacrificial, unconditional, constant, family and…always there.  This is the experience for most of us.  Certainly, this is my experience in my life.  I have so many brothers and sisters because of my loving, beautiful mothers.

A true story. My father is a preacher, I am a preacher, my younger brother is a preacher, my eldest nephew is a preacher.  My youngest son, at age 14, was asked “Who is the greatest preacher in your family”? My son answered quickly, “My Mother”.  Sometimes, men and women who never stand at a pulpit preach the greatest sermons through living out the Word in their daily lives.  Again, this is very real in my life, in my experience with my mothers.  And in my reality - the mother of my children.

There is a sad situation where some of us experienced hurtful, and unfortunately painful, times with our mothers.  I am sorry if this is your case.  My hope and prayers are for you.  Be at peace, the peace of Christ.  If you can, give to Jesus that burdensome experience.  Forgive, let go and move on. Make something wonderful of your life.  In all cases, your mother gave you life.

There is a wonderful mother’s perspective that I learned from my wife.  And I suppose it is the same for all mothers.  “I have a favourite child” my wife shared at a Women’s Fellowship Dinner.  Startled, and somewhat annoyed, I glanced at her.  We treat all our children the same.  As far as I am aware, I work hard on making sure my four children realise without a doubt that they are all equally loved.  With her voice breaking, tears flowing, eyes roaming the gathering from side to side my wife said,  “My favourite child is my daughter who is stressing out in Wellington, caring for Nana and sitting her final nursing exams; my son who has been made redundant and moving back to Auckland; my daughter who is training so hard but not enjoying her sport; my youngest son who is moving to Australia.”  All her children are her favourite child.  I realised the depth of a mother’s love, for each of her children.  

My sons are big, strong men.  When they are ill, feverish and down, they seek out their mother. Lying on her lap, since they were born.  In fact, all my four children do the same thing. The only time they run to me, or I am their first port of call, is when they need my card, my car, my cash. I love this.

“Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of little children.”
- William Makepeace Thackeray

Thank you God for mothers, for our own mothers, for the mothers of our children.  Thank you to all mothers. We are all blessed because of mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.

We love you.


Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio
Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand