Behold thy Mother


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Behold thy Mother

John 19
25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Mother’s Day can be a dangerous holiday for a preacher to preach on. In some way, there is no winning. On one hand, you can preach the traditional sermon on all the virtues of motherhood and be excoriated because “not all women are mothers.” On the other hand, you can ignore it and be ripped to pieces limb-by-limb by all of the mothers. There is a third way to go, and that is to preach a sermon on the virtues of women in general, giving lots of examples of women who were worthwhile and were not mothers.

I have sat through a sermon like the last one. The minister went so far as to make the women who weren’t mothers sound much more worthwhile than those who were. His bones are still being boiled for soup stock.

The problem with all of these is the point of view of the congregation. If I am to survive this sermon long enough to get to my car, I’ve got to make you realize this sermon is not about you. If you’ve got a dozen kids and eleven of them are Nobel Laureates and the twelfth was in the running for Pope, that’s great, but this is still not about you.

It is about your mother.

Those who say not every woman can be a mother are absolutely right. I’ll go farther: No man can be a mother. But if you are here in the sound of my voice, male or female, black or white, Jew or Gentile, you had a mother. And it is my belief that mothers show us some aspects of God.

Before I go any further, I need to make some things plain. I am one of the staunchest defenders around of using The Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit formulation of the Trinity as opposed to some who say The Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sustainer. A creator creates a vase and then destroys it with no bother, with no mercy. A Father is a parent to his children and distributes both justice and mercy. The traditional formulation of the Trinity is much more human than the other.

Jesus used Father in the formulation, and so I will, but we can still see aspects of God through the act of motherhood.

I’ll first state the most obvious. Your mother suffered for you to even exist. There is the act of birth. I’ve seen all three of my daughters born, and let me tell you, this is not something I can see any man enduring, but that is just one part. There is morning sickness and hormones and changes in bone structure and varicose veins and the mood swings. Then there is worrying about everything in the world.

But that is all over in forty weeks.

After that, there are sleepless nights of feeding or taking care of sick children. There is worrying about the child because they are too clingy or because they don’t want to be around you at all.

And no matter how you slice it, a woman’s career suffers disproportionately with respect to a man’s when she becomes a parent.

Then the children are raised, they can take care of themselves, and they leave the house. This is the ultimate pain, letting the children go.
There is a word that summarizes what our mothers do for us, and that is “Sacrifice.”

This is why I chose the particular bit of scripture that we used today. Mary at the foot of the Cross has to witness her son die. This has to be the worst.
My grandmother had five children and watched three of them die. She was 96 when she died and they all lived out more or less normal spans, but they were still her babies when they died.

This sort of connection, this sort of sacrifice, this sort of love shows us God.
And it doesn’t matter if we’ve not been a mother, the example of motherly love in all around us in God’s world for all of us to see. No one is barred from caring. No one is barred from sacrifice for others. No one is barred from love.
God shows us all of this through mothers.

And we can connect to it through that moment at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.
very nice again Oakie.

i never thought of that way before (no winning) but I think you are right...
the moms wait & see what they get for mothers day & that will depend, on what the dads get for fathers day.
as long as there are enough long stem roses for each sister at the end of the service, that usually helps out a lot too.:)

God bless all the Moms