Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

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

Approximate Notes for Mother’s Day Message; May 8, 2016

Scripture for this Sunday John 19: 25-27; 1 Kings 3: 16-28

You can read this Scriptures here: {NIV2010 and ESV}

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Last week sons, daughters and husbands across our country were busy selecting presents for their moms ahead of this year’s Mothers’ Day celebration.

The celebration of the Mothers’ Day holiday is most widely spread in the USAmerica because it has roots in our country. But Mothers’ Day, unlike those all-American dates of Thanksgiving and July 4, is also celebrated in some other countries. In many countries, religious or cultural holidays revolving around women and families have evolved into their own celebrations of motherhood, while in others this holiday has been imported with USAmericans who settled there.

In our country, those whose moms are still alive spend Mothers’ Day bestowing flowers, gifts and heartfelt sentiments upon their moms. Those who have lost their moms reflect on what they miss and on the effect that their moms had on the direction of their lives.

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The first attempts to establish a “Mothers’ Day” holiday 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.

{From Jeremiah 31:15: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”}

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Each of us has a unique and complicated relationship with our mothers. Each of our relationships with our moms is probably the most significant in our lives; after all she was the first person we met just seconds after birth! Because our mothers are human, not all of them are perfect; because all of us are human, we make motherhood challenging. In other words: IT’S COMPLICATED. That is why Mothers’ Day is a perfect opportunity to reflect on our personal relationships with our moms, the role they play in our lives, and to recognize and honor their contribution to what we have become so far and hope to become in the future.

In a perfect world, our moms make sure to be around and available to their children. There are countless recitals, and soccer games, parties, music classes, field trips as well as unplanned, spontaneous moments. All those planned and unplanned moments strung together throughout our childhood built our confidence and understanding of self-worth, as well as defined our path and trajectory for the future; they shape and define who and what we become. Some moments are joyful, some moments are filled with frustration, and in their entirety these moments with our moms build the foundation of our lives.

That relationship is not all that different than the relationship that God has with us. While Jesus was with his disciples following the resurrection, he also called his family to a higher cause.

In the pain of death and in the suffering on the Cross, Jesus demonstrated a love that knows no boundaries. God’s love extends across the boundaries that separate families, tribes and nations from each other. In this image of love that knows no bounds Jesus gave us a new powerful way of understanding God’s compassionate love for all.

The love of God transcends everything that divides us and brings us into conflict. We live in a world which makes us feel inadequate and incomplete. We live in a world where we are forced to compete with each other.

{ILLUSTRATION}

That leaves us with feelings of dissatisfaction and failure, simply because we can never live up to the ideal of perfection projected throughout our culture. Despite all of our efforts, we will never be thin enough, or rich enough, or young enough, or smart enough, or loving enough, or caring enough. That in turn builds a lack of self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy.

That is the tug of war that is ongoing in our lives and souls: we live in a Fallen World and we strive to serve the Holy God. The only way to break this stalemate is the conviction that we are loved, not despite our shortcomings, or because of our achievements, but simply because we are of immeasurable value to God. The only other time we come close to that break of stalemate is when we experience the love of our mother.

In the end, there is nothing more radical than to teach people that they are loved by God, and that this is a matter of sheer unmerited grace; for this is a source of a deep self-confidence that will never fail.

In its origin, inspiration and intent, the Holy Day of Mothers’ Day touches upon the deepest truths of our faith tradition. Mothers’ Day reminds us that the most powerful gift that any mother can give her child is the sense that we are loved unconditionally. This is what each of us needs. Unfortunately, many of us did not fully experience it with our mothers. For example, just this week I was called to a pastoral emergency where a mother and father had abandoned their children to their grandmother, and the parents do not even know that their son is dying.

But what we have seen in part in a Mothers’ love, we see fully in the love of God. And it is that love which supports and inspires us as we struggle to make God’s love and God’s justice real, not only for ourselves and for our families, but for all the peoples of the world.

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