Mothers: God’s Instruments for Good!
Sixth Sunday of Easter Trinity Lutheran Church
13 May 2012 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Honor Your Father and Your Mother (Fourth Commandment)
Have you seen a woman’s body lately? Who doesn’t? When Adam saw Eve’s body with his eyes for the first time on their wedding day he joyously exclaimed: “Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! She shall be called ‘woman,” for she was taken out of man!’” (Genesis 2:23)
Daughters of Eve come in all different shapes and sizes. Different hairstyles. Blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes. And from the beginning the Lord created a woman’s body so that with the help of her husband a little baby is conceived and grows in her womb. “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28) is God’s Word and God’s will for husbands and wives! A new life is created by the Lord through a mother’s body! This is precisely why Adam called his wife “Eve” because she was “the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20). Incredible! Pure gift! What joy! Being a mother, that is!
Mom lives to serve and take care of that little life growing inside her. She has the joy of living for some one else and not for herself. Some things she can control. Others things she cannot. As the pregnancy progresses, the hormones shift and rage. The body stretches to the breaking point. The waddle increases. The back breaks. The weight gain magnifies.
For nine months Mom shares – her warmth, nutrients, and bodily space with her child. After the labor pains and birth Mom nurses her baby and raises the child to be an adult. This is hard physical work. God gives the woman a body so that she can conceive, carry, give birth, nurse, and raise her child. As she does this difficult vocation God is doing and giving – through her! This is why you are to “honor” your mother as the Fourth Commandment demands.
As Mom carries and delivers the baby, life and death are both at hand. This is why Mother’s Day for so many women is bittersweet. The baby is extremely fragile and very vulnerable. Miscarriages happen. Some times after a tough nine months the baby dies in the delivery room. And all hopes and expectations are devastatingly destroyed.
Pregnancy is risky for Mom too. Sometimes Mom dies while giving birth. In such a tragedy Mom, in this ultimate act of love, literally sacrifices hers life for her baby’s. Here Mom follows the example of Jesus Himself who laid down His life for us. 1 John 3:16 states: “By this we know love, that He [Jesus] laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
Even as Mom endures the labor pains of giving birth, she, like Jesus on the cross, bears in her body the curse of the fall and the penalty of sin. In Genesis 3:16 God stated: “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.”
Motherhood is a high and holy calling from God Himself. Through mothers God Himself is at work in the world giving and sustaining life. God gives life, protects, and prolongs life in the world through mothers! Mothers, along with fathers, are God’s “representatives” (Large Catechism) on the earth. Parents (a husband and a wife / a man and a woman) are God’s tools, His instruments, channels and means to give blessings to His creation.
Notice, I said a husband and a wife. A mother (a woman) and a father (a man) given to each other in holy marriage! God is not pleased with the man-made arrangement called: same sex marriage. Spin it or try to justify it any way your want: committed, loving, monogamous, or whatever. The fact remains: it is not God-pleasing for a man to marry a man or for a woman to marry a woman!
President Obama has made a grave error on this matter by giving his explicit approval to something that God clearly forbids and that is only in the way of death and total rebellion against God’s mandate and institution FROM THE BEGINNING. The president does not have history on his side. Historic Christianity of which we are part does!
God’s Word is very clear regarding marriage. God brought Eve to Adam. This was the institution of holy marriage! Jesus even quotes Genesis as historic fact in Matthew 19:4-6: “‘Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’” We must pray for the president and any one else who errs on this matter so that they will repent, believe the truth of Holy Scripture and proclaim it without reservation.
Sometimes I hear women say this: “Oh, I’m just a mother.” Other times I hear women question in desperation: “And I gave up a career for this? I went to college to do this?” As if being a mother is a nothing compared to making lots of money or being the CEO of a large company. As if having a life without children is the only lifestyle to be emulated. Nonsense! If you are ever tempted or have given in to the temptation to diminish or disparage the vocation of motherhood, it is time to repent. Seriously!
Why? Because motherhood is a God-given vocation! It is His will! Genesis 2:24 states: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” And the result of the one flesh union is a child or children. And if your body doesn’t work right and you can’t conceive, then you can adopt. That is precisely what God has done for all of us in Jesus. Ephesians 1:5,7 says: “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will [so that] … in him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Being a mother is holy work because it is hooked with the mandate and institution of the Lord Himself. What is one of the most God-pleasing and greatest works in the world that you can do ladies? The answer: It is to be a mother! God distinguishes father and mother “above all other persons on earth and places them next to himself,” (Large Catechism).
Through the every day drudgery of sleepless nights, changing messy and leaking diapers, cleaning up the puke, the never ending feedings, tending the teething, earaches and fevers, putting the band aides on skinned up knees and elbows, baking the cookies, and sewing patches in the jeans, God is at work through you Moms! Moms, God employs your body, hands, ears, mouth, arms, legs and heart to care for your children!
Moms, you are to use all your wits and soul to sacrificially serve your children by doing the laundry, grilling cheeseburgers, driving to endless school and sports activities, bringing them to Holy Baptism, reading the Bible stories, teaching them how to pray the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and bringing them to church to worship Jesus.
Moms, where you have failed with your children or with your family — or children, where you have failed your Moms or your family, confess your sins to one another and then let Jesus mediate with His Good Friday forgiveness. His blood cleanses sinners from all their sins. Sins that you have committed against your children. Or the sins that your children have committed against you! With the blood of Jesus there is forgiveness for you and for everyone! That’s right! His forgiveness is for you! And with His forgiveness there is life – the freedom to live as Mom for your children and family. With Jesus’ forgiveness there is salvation. That is for sure!
Happy Mother’s Day!
In the holy and blessed Name of Jesus!