Sunday Service Sermons
Sermon for 5-10-20 Motherhood
It is hard to celebrate Mother’s Day without a mother living. Kathy is always ready for me to honor her as mother of our children. But I have always thought of Mother’s Day as a day to be mindful of my mother. My mother, now there was a formidable person. She and her sisters were very strong people. She had five sisters then two brothers. The two brothers were very congenial people. But those sisters knew their mind and wanted yours to be in line with theirs. It was interesting to see them all together, they did that in their later years, and make a decision. Five strong opinions merging into one decision is an event to behold. But their bond as sisters held them together until they made the decision. There is a bond between a mother and her child that is stronger than it is between a father and his child. They say it is the fact that the child grows in the mothers womb that creates this bond. I am sure that is part of it but the female of this species is just made to nurture. She nurtures her husband and her children. It is who she is. Maybe we should call this day the Nurturing Day. A day to celebrate those who do a good job of nurturing others. Helping them become all that they can be. Which is never found in the military. It is found in becoming all that Father God created you to be.
One source that I use for sermons used Mary as a model for Motherhood. I like Proverbs 31 where it describes the perfect woman. In cleaning out a storage shed I found a Study Bible, with larger print, that calls this section of Proverbs and Epilogue: The Wife of Nobel Character. One Mother’ Day the kids and I wrote this out on butcher paper and hung it in our home. It did not have the desired effect. We were saying that Kathy was fulfilling the characteristics of a noble woman and wonderful mother. It made Kathy feel that it was a standard hard to reach.
A wife of Noble character, who can find? True enough today but the same goes for all humans now. Noble character is a rare thing. It is not promoted very much right now. It is more gusto and get all you can get for you only go around once. Good and evil; get or give; light and darkness. The framework of life does not change just the details and methods. What is noble character for a woman? If you can find one she is a person of great value. Amen! For she is worth more than rare stones. Such a woman has a husband who has full confidence in her. She brings him good, never harm. She is industrious and most productive. She is task oriented and eager to get to work each day. She uses her resources wisely. She is in good health and ability. She works day and into the night. She is generous for those in need. She tends to her family well and is prepared for hard times. She is such a good person that her husband is well thought of in the community. Her excellent character gives her strength. She has confidence in her ability to meet the challenges of the days to come. Out of her mouth comes good advice and life-giving words. She is an encourager. She is always on guard for her home and family. Her family recognizes her efforts and praise her. They appreciate all that she does for them. She does not rely on her looks or charms but on her relationship with Yahweh her God and Lord. She should live in His blessing and reap the rewards of her faithfulness.
These verses, which I have rewritten, describe the ideal wife and mother. Her whole life is centered around a reverent fear of God. Compassion for those in need, and faithfulness, and love toward her family. All the ideals set forth here will probably not be fulfilled in anyone wife and mother.
But each wife can seek to serve God, her family and others with the ability and material resources that God has given her.
My Study Bible suggests going to Ephesians 5:22 where Paul speaks of the relationship of Christ to the church in terms of husband and wife and puts the relationship of husband and wife in perspective. A Godly order. I am not sure just how encouraging that is to mothers. I am sure that most women would say, give me a husband as described in that passage and I will be a different woman. Maybe we can look at that for Father’s Day. There is an order that gives life there. God first, and brought to us in Jesus “The Christ”, then the man as the head of the house, giving his life for his wife and family, then the mother, giving her life to her home and family.
Today we are lifting up women as mothers. And their God given role to nurture the family. There is a warmth that a woman has that I believe a man does not have but desperately needs. Was man made and found lacking so God then made the other half of mankind and called it woman? Neither male or female is complete in their self. It takes the two to make a complete whole. And when it works as God intended it is nothing short of marvelous.
We just described the character of a God-fearing woman. Can we say that this passage was fulfilled in Mary the mother of Jesus? The greeting was, “you who are highly favored, The Lord is with you”. Can Mary be a model for a modern, God fearing woman? She has faith and faithfulness and the fruit of her womb is the Lord of all.
Why was Mary chosen to be the mother of Jesus? What are her characteristics? Mary was a devout worshiper of the true God. She was pure in mind and heart and body. She was humble, realizing her dependence on God. She was obedient to God’s will. She was willing to do what God had planned for her. She had an attitude of gratitude; being thankful that God used her to further his work. And she was consistent and self-controlled. All qualities needed by modern mothers as well as by the mother of Jesus.
Mary was chosen for a mission and also as an example for other mothers. She responded positively to God’s plan for her life. She magnified the Lord in song for his goodness and mercy. She worshiped the mighty God of Israel as her Lord and strength. She worshiped the merciful God. Humanity needs mercy more than justice. God is eager to forgive and to help the undeserving. Mary worshiped the helping God. God’s love expresses itself in a persistent attitude of goodwill and helpfulness to his people. He is a very present help in trouble. Mary felt assistance from God and she became a helper to him in his work of helping others.
Mary suffered the pain of motherhood. There is pain in living life on earth. Mothers experience lots of it. Children are often hard to understand, as was Jesus at the age of twelve. The siblings of Jesus did not see him as who he was like Mary did. Siblings often are not in perfect harmony. Mary felt the pain of the rejection of Jesus by his own people. Then there was his arrest, trial and execution. Mary was there, she saw it all, she felt it all. No one there could have suffered as did Mary. Then Mary worshiped a risen and ruling savior. After the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, Mary was present with those who had rejoiced in his victory over death. She was with them as they prayed in anticipation of the Holy spirit’s coming. So Mary is an excellent model for contemporary mothers. She had a life of great faith. Her heart was in tune with God as she was constantly open to his will. She believed that God’s will was good and that it was something to desire instead of something merely to undergo. Mary, as a good role model for mothers everywhere, encourages us to purity, prayer, and participation in God’s will.
Give God permission to help you become all that you can be. Follow his lead and obey his will and become the person that will further His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven