Mother’s Day

Being a mother is hard work.

I’m definitely not qualified to give a sermon on what it means to be a modern day mother… I don’t have a clue! I’m not a mother and I think it’s safe to say I never will be. Now, I understand the dangers of speaking on a topic with which I have little first-hand experience. But, I have had a mother all of my life and now I am married to a mother of two.  That’s why I’m thankful that the Bible deals with this issue very well. That way, we’re not relying on my expertise…or lack thereof. But, we’re relying on God’s experience…and that beats all the so-called pop-culture experts. 

There was Rebekah back in Genesis.  She made sure that Jacob, not Essau, was the one that Issac blessed.  Later we meet Jochebed, the mother of Moses.  She saved her son by floating him down the river where Pharaoh’s daughter found him.  Jochebed was brought in to nurse her own son and taught him who he really was and all about God.  Hannah, the mother of Samuel, prayed endlessly to God for a son, promising that she would dedicate him to the Lord.  God gave her a son and she did as she promised, giving Samuel to Eli the priest to raise.  Bathsheba, the bride of King David stepped in to make sure that her son Solomon was named king over his older brother Adonijah.

That brings us to the most famous mother in the Bible, Mary.  Mary was an ordinary girl, no one special.  We sometimes think of her as this perfect, unblemished girl, but not once does the Bible say that Mary was sinless. In fact, Mary said in Luke 1:47 that her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. In so doing, she declared her need of a Savior just as much as anyone else.  And Mary was not immune to fear…in fact her first reaction to hearing the news from the angel was fear. Was it the fear of criticism? Fear of uncertainty? Fear of inadequacy or the fear of change?  Or was it all of the above?  Wed can’t really fault her, in fact we all probably have felt those fears from time to time, especially mothers!  More than anyone, a mother fears that they won’t be good enough, that they will mess up, that they won’t be able to raise their child right.  Mothers shoulder quite a load.

The same four fears can keep anyone from being used by God. But Mary gives us an example of three qualities that kept these things from controlling her and enabled her to be used by God:

  • The desire to do God’s will.
  • The willingness to pay the cost
  • The faith to trust God’s promise

When Gabriel told Mary what God was going to do she had fear, but she did not have doubt. She did ask, “How shall this thing be, seeing I know not a man?” But she was not expressing doubt she was asking how such an awesome thing could take place.  Gabriel proceeded to tell her how it would take place and added, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” And Mary said, in effect, “Well, let’s get on with it.” The promise from God gave her faith to believe it would all come to pass. That faith also gave her courage to face all the potential difficulties that would lie ahead.

I think about that faith and courage and how Mary was steadfast in her acceptance and I think of the passage from Psalms 31:25-31:
 

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
      and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
     and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
     her partner also, and they praise her:

29 “Many women do noble things,
      but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
      but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
     and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
 

Yes, Mary was the ideal Mother because of her love of God.  And she had some special qualities we all need:

  • The desire to do His will
  • Be willing to pay the cost
  • The faith to trust His promises

To follow Christ every one of us, whether we are mothers or not will have to give up some fleshly stuff. It may be some of our habits…some of our relationships that are pulling us down…some of our dreams and ambitions. Mary was willing to pay the cost and God used her in fabulous way.

In fact, all the mothers in the Bible were used in amazing ways, much as he is still using mother’s today.  Think of Bill Gates or Elon Musk or even me who had the biggest impact on their lives…we’ll all tell you our mothers.

I wouldn’t be up here today if not for my mom.  She was always encouraging me. She reminded me yesterday that she had sent me a way to some youth event in Ohio and when I got home, I told her I was going to be a pastor. It took 40 some odd years, but she never gave up, she never lost faith, she never stopped praying (And Lord knows I gave her plenty of reasons to fear over the years).  I think of all the mothers out there right now praying for their kids.

I want to say thank you for what your desire to do God’s will, thank you for for the sacrifice you endure, and thank you for your faith to trust in God’s promises.

 

We love you!


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