Selected Verses from the Old Testament
LUKE 1: 46-56
May 10, 2020 – MOTHERS DAY
It can be a simple look or a special hug. It’s the reassurance that produces a confidence in the possibilities that are inherently a God given gift within each human being. The extension of Creation … the real life caregivers whose lives help to mold the living and breathing human lives created in the image of the Holy. The women of change .. the women of nurture … the women who play and teach and correct and feed and understand that somewhere in their souls God has provided the means to carry life forward in one or more other human beings.
At the end of their days … women who can add their voices to the song of the Seventies “Oh, yes I am wise but it’s wisdom born of pain … I am strong … I am invincible … I am woman!” Our Old Testament reading declared, “Strength and honor are her clothing! Her mouth is full of wisdom; kindly teaching is on her tongue.”
And, on the second Sunday of May we pause to collectively recognize the women who have taken on the role of Mother .. birth moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, aunts, grandmothers, Sunday School teachers, regular school teachers, Girl Scout leaders, friends’ moms, pastors and others whose gifts to children can never be measured in a price on the market place. Whose gift truly is life because the women of our lives prepare us when we listen … when we pay attention … no matter which relationship she holds that special woman or women who take us on allow all of us to be more than we could otherwise be without them.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of you who are moms or women of influence in the lives of other human beings even if you never gave birth to a child yourself. God has provided throughout the history of faith examples to shine but none so more than a poor teenage girl who became pregnant with the Son of God. In teaching people of faith how we will be connected with God … the Creator of the universe; the One who loves us unendingly reminded us through the prophet how God’s love … God’s connection can be reflected in the lives of special women, “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you, says.the Lord. When you see this your heart will rejoice!”
And, for me personally … and this is where my role as a pastor gives me a moment of personal privilege but it will be short. Today is my daughter Colleen’s first Mother’s Day. As I watch her nurture and comfort and love my grandson my love for my daughter grows. She is mommy, mom, and mother … the days of the future for her family hold only great promise and potential. Happy Mother’s Day Colleen. But, she needed someone to build her foundation … someone who also has helped build the foundation for my daughter Megan. Megan, who will never have children of her own, whose love and hugs have lifted up countless numbers of people in her 34 years just as a mother lifts up and hugs her child with total love and no hesitation just because; Happy Mother’s Day Megan … The foundation for my girls’ realities, lives and ability to share love is thanks to Donna, their mom. Happy Mother’s Day Donna! And, so on this Mother’s Day I say Happy Mother’s Day to those three women … two who have given birth and one who is proof that you do not have to give birth to touch others in the manner that deserves a celebration on this day.
And, so I asked the church family for stories of their moms … not to be singled out by name because many amongst us don’t feel comfortable in sharing our stories. So these moms’ stories will remain nameless because no story is greater than another and so many stories could not be shared today. Here are some of the stories from the people of St. Paul’s about the moms of their lives.
Many moms taught the value and strength of family. “Family was always important to my mom,” one person wrote. Another said, “my mom knew the stories of where we came from. She was the historian of love and I wish we had written down the stories but it’s the love of family that she treasured that I remember.” “My mother, her sisters, and my grandmother … I still can remember when they were together. They were teaching my cousins, my sister and I how important it was to treasure those we call family. Such an incredible memory that I still can remember.” “Mom was always outnumbered at the dinner table … dad, my brother and I were so into hunting, fishing and ‘guy’ stuff’ but mom always connected with us.” “My daddy had a degenerative health condition so as the years progressed his condition deteriorated but I watched mom care for my dad with love, dignity, grace, and mercy.”
Several of our St. Paul’s family shared memories of their moms cooking and how the kitchen served as a classroom of life. “I learned how to bake and cook from my Mom at a young age. Making homemade noodles, bread, and cakes. To this day, fresh baked bread takes me back to my childhood.” “Mom loved cooking and baking .. she was excellent at it. My dad loved being the “TASTE TESTER.” “My mom was an excellent cook! She took great pride in having nice dinners and entertaining her extended family and friends.” “My brothers and sisters and I think mom was some kind of top secret kitchen scientist because as adults when we asked for her ‘special recipes’ that we all loved so much what she gave us didn’t match up with the incredibly yummy meals she made. Maybe the food we ate as kids wasn’t as good as we remembered and it was actually her love in cooking the meals for us that made us realize that mom’s cooking was the best! But to this day when we talk about her … we remember how we loved to be at her dining room table and seeing her smile to bring us dinner, lunch and breakfast.” “Back when not many moms worked, my mom showed me how to be a multitasker. She showed me how to cook, clean, take care of yourself, treat people, love, work, and be strong in times of trouble.”
It’s clear that moms nurture and establish their relationship through love in many other ways. Some of the notes and e-mails talked about how their mom made their lives better. “My mom was a reader; the ultimate reader. And, she loved to lie down on the floor and taking us on journeys through books. When she opened the Bible to read to us she even did character voices and did this deep booming voice of God. She taught me that books matter.” “I would sit on the piano bench as my mom practiced the songs she would sing for church, concerts, and recitals. I learned so many songs that way, not to mention the correct way of singing. I love to sing … “. “It was the simple way of living that mom taught me. Her love of animals and our pets. Nothing really complicated about mom but I think in every moment when my sister and I were with her she was trying to show us something we would hold onto. I hope that I have.” “My mom was one of the most generous persons I ever knew. She was a working woman, a seamstress. She worked for my third grade teacher who was black and tailored her clothes. Back in the day that was extremely odd in an all white school but she taught me how God’s people loved all and colors didn’t matter.””My mom rescued a baby robin and we helped bring “Christopher Robin” back to life. He adopted my mom as his mother and we all brought worms for him. My friends and I collected worms to feed him. One day he flew away but we watched my mom through love become the loving mom of a baby bird.”
And, then there was faith and God … moms that provided an eternal pathway for their kids. “My mom .. the woman is still with us and has always shared the mantel of Mother’s Day with my birth mom who is now gone is Mrs. Griffin, my best friend’s mom growing up. My parents weren’t church going types but Sara and her family were. Beginning when I was six or seven, I remember Mrs. Griffin and her husband coming into our home and with a smile saying Sunday morning happy time for the girls. My parents didn’t mind and on the way to church we would sing Sunday School songs and hymns that I still sing by heart. I found Jesus … and because of Mrs. Griffin, my finding Jesus helped me help my birth mom to find Jesus too.” “My mom is still teaching me to be strong in the Lord. Her health is really poor now but she says “I’m traveling this road to witness that the Lord my God He is good all the time. I think back on all the hard times she has gone through and she’s just an amazing person. Her faith is strong and I know she has a home with God.” “My mom would sit at the dining room table with an open bible and a sheet of paper. She kept notes about what she read; when I was a teenager I looked at the notes and she was writing hymns as she read the Bible connecting music of faith with God’s Word … mom I love you for teaching me that music and God go together!” “If it wasn’t for mom … my mom is why I know who God is. She could have tossed God aside because my father certainly did but mom told me that God always loves and God is always there. She told me how her family when she was young went to a beautiful church in the city but that buildings and man made things don’t matter. It’s God and it’s how we share God’s love that matters most.”
And, it was cool to read how moms became grandmoms but in becoming grandparents these women continued to teach their children about life. “My mom with those boys just lit up with energy; her grandsons so special to her. It was almost like déjà vu and before her health went bad I often felt like I was a fly on the wall with mom going back to when I was a girl.” “In her later years, my mom would spend time with her grandchildren baking cookies, making candy and playing video games with them. It’s been almost 19 years but we still think of her every day with love.” “I can remember my daughter’s face lighting up when grandma called … my daughter still looks skyward and says “I love you grandma” and we love mom too every day.” “I will always remember when my mom who loved our family so much … when she was close to her end on earth she shared with me these words, “I can go home now, for you have become a wonderful mommy and seeing this has blessed me the most of all.”
There were so many more words … and not enough time to share them. I really encourage you to post them on social media or tell the stories.
Mary told Luke …. “With all my heart, I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on … everyone will consider me highly favored because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is His name.”
Mary was on her way to becoming a mom and in his last breaths Jesus showed how much His mom meant to Him as he turned to John, His disciple, and said my mother is now your mother.
Each of you women young and hold has the potential to be the nurturing and teaching and loving woman somebody needs today or tomorrow. I pray that you all have the strength and love to take on that role! Happy Mother’s Day to those who already have been those special people in the lives of others. God’s love … God’s comforting love that God teaches is the love that mothers offer to those they care for.