God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
Notes for Sunday Message; 12-May-2013; Mother’s Day in USAmerica
Scriptures for this Sunday: Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 31:15-17; John 2:1-11
You can read these Scriptures Here: NIV2010
Contrary to popular belief Mother’s Day was NOT invented by Hallmark. The first attempts to establish a “Mother’s Day” in the USAmerica came from women’s peace groups shortly after the American Civil War. Their common goal and desire was to support each other as they grieved their sons who perished in the American Civil War. (Here is a link to Wikipedia entry giving more information about this.)
Mother’s Day is a secular holiday and not every woman is a mother. I believe that as a church we should celebrate Women of Faith Day instead of Mother’s Day. Women of Faith Day would illuminate and acknowledge the contributions of ALL of our ladies in helping God to make this world a better place. Women of Faith help us to find meaning in our lives and help us to recognize the presence of the Holy.
Year after year, I have difficulty preaching on Mother’s Day. I understand what mothers go through, I can relate to their emotions, I comprehend the challenges that they face. Unfortunately, for me these understandings are more intellectual than emotional in nature. From experience I know that intellectualism has a tendency to make for a boring, if not completely meaningless, Sunday morning.
When we strip out the syrupy, sugary and cloying sentimentality, the cutesy cards and flowers, we are left with the reality that every one of us have moms, grand-moms, aunts, teachers, Sunday School teachers and mentors who “mom’d” us and helped us to become who we are today and who we will become tomorrow. For that, all of us should be grateful; by shaping us these ladies shape future generations; doing so these ladies serve as tools in God’s hands and make the world a better place.
Most of us are who we are today by the Grace of God and because of our moms, grand-moms, aunts, teachers, mentors, Sunday School teachers and other ladies who “mom’d” us, who helped us to recognize that our value as persons is not measured by social norms that are established by the judgments of others.
OVERBOARD is a movie released in 1987 and it is a story of an uber-wealthy, spoiled woman living a sheltered life of privilege on her private yacht (Joanna Stayton, played by Goldie Hawn). By a whim of fate, she ends up in the life of a working man (Dean Proffitt, played by Kurt Russell) and his four children. While it is a somewhat naïve story, we see how her presence changes the dynamic of the whole family, how the children start doing much better at school, how her presence affects Dean and his friends and their families.
Her presence in their lives changes Dean’s family and friends for the better. It also changes Joanna. When forced to go back to her old life of privilege and leisure, we see the physical change in the way Joanna handles herself, in the way she dresses and in the way she talks to and with her servants. One evening Joanna turns to the butler who has served her for many years and apologizes for her poor treatment of him in the past. After accepting the apology, the butler observes that unlike most people, Joanna has been given an opportunity to see life from a different perspective and a new point of view. He did not tell her what to do with the rest of her life, but pointed out that she is the one who can decide how to use her newly acquired knowledge.
In that movie Joanna helped Dean to reinvent himself and helped his children to see themselves in a new light. Although she was not children’s biological mother, she became children’s mom; she fulfilled the office of motherhood with grace, dignity and poise.
Countless women of faith have helped all of us to discern who we are and who we want to be. Countless women of faith have helped each of us to change and to reinvent ourselves. Countless women of faith taught each of us about God, about respect, about love, about grace and about life in general. And countless women of faith have found themselves changed as a result of this outpouring of effort and emotion.
We feel their presence in our lives. Every accomplishment under our belts is, at least partially, rooted in their encouragement, efforts and presence.
They are also with us when things are not going that well. They give us hope, help us to recognize that we may be having a bad day but the Sun will rise up again tomorrow. They challenge us to apply ourselves, they help us to spread our wings and fly; in today’s Gospel reading we heard how Mary challenged Jesus to help the wedding host when there was a problem.
Today’s message would not be complete without saying a few words about those mothers and mother figures that use their children to fulfill their own unmet emotional needs. In case you are wondering, that is a polite way of saying “abusive” and “dysfunctional” mothers. It is a reality of many lives and we need to keep those who suffer from abuse in our thoughts and prayers, lending a helping hand when we are able.
I do have hard time preaching Mother’s Day. Earlier I mentioned that I think that today should be called Women of Faith day. Not every woman is a mother; but most every woman of faith serves God by serving the world in which she lives by shaping, mentoring and guiding young and not so young minds. Mother’s Day reminds us that in its origin, inspiration, and intent, countless women of faith have given us the sense that we are loved unconditionally. Such love is the closest approximation that we can experience in this life to the love of God for us.
It is that love which supports and inspires us as we strive to make God’s love, justice, grace, and presence real not only for ourselves and for our families, but for all the people of the world.