I wanted to post this yesterday (Mother’s Day) but didn’t have enough wifi signal to post anything. So here is my Mother’s Day message, inspired by Sunday’s sermon.
This coffee splattered photo is a picture of my mother and me when I was a little girl, about three or four years old. My mother died in 1994 of a massive heart attack followed by three subsequent strokes that left her completely paralyzed.
What is a mother? Is it someone who gives birth and that’s it? Is it a woman who has tried to have children and has miscarriage after miscarriage, yet with no baby to hold?
Let’s look at the Bible’s perspective: Mary, the mother of Jesus. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to give birth as a virgin, first of all, to have that ripping and tearing of the hymen while giving birth. Then to have the overwhelming responsibility of knowing that you have been chosen to raise the Son of God. How it must have filled Mary’s (and Joseph’s) minds with questions. How does a mere mortal raise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Of course he had to be suckled at first, have diapers changed, had to be taught to feed himself, to be toilet trained, etc. They were probably afraid to let Jesus out of their sight for fear of public humiliation. After all, even though it was a fulfillment of God’s prophecy, the world even then was full of skeptics, accusing Mary of Joseph of covering up a sin they had not committed.
Mary followed Jesus’s movements as He grew, knowing all the while that He was not hers, but God’s. She watched Him feed the crowds when He started His ministry. She watched Him with His disciples when they were invited to weddings and other celebrations.
Jesus also watched over His mother—right to the very end. While He hung on the cross, his mother Mary standing at its foot, He looked at his mother and tenderly said, “Woman, behold thy son,” and pointed at His closest disciple, John. Then He looked at John and said, “Behold thy mother.” When it was finished and the crowd had dispersed, the Bible tells us that John took Mary, the mother of Jesus, to his own home. Scripture doesn’t tell us why none of Jesus’s brothers took her. Maybe their lives were too busy. Maybe they were busy trying to convince others that Jesus was their Messiah. Scripture doesn’t tell us.
What we do learn from this is that Mary was a faithful mother. She took great care of Jesus. A faithful mother, even though none of us have perfect children, cares for, nurtures, and occasionally gives her children up for adoption, doing what is best for them if she is not able to give them the care and nurturing they need. A faithful mother mourns the loss of unborn children as if they had survived and died. Even though a miscarriage has occurred, in her heart she is still a mother. She would have cherished the child had it been born. But God in His infinite wisdom and mercy knows and does what is best.
God gave us ten commandments (not ten suggestions) listed in Exodus chapter 20. The fifth commandment says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” There is no disclaimer that says, “if they don’t punish you,” or “as long as they keep you happy.” Whether we love our parents, hate them, ignore them, or love them, for whatever reason, God gave us life. We are to honor our parents simply because God says so. He deserves our obedience and will reward us for that obedience. It does not say to love your parents. It says to honor them. That means do your best, be the best person you can be for them in order to have a right relationship with God. It isn’t about your relationship with your parents; it’s about obedience to God. Lift up your parents if for no other reason than because they had you. You could have been aborted. You weren’t because God has plans for you. Jeremiah 29:11-14. Read it in the King James Version.