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Mothers: The Lord’s Instruments For Life!

May 11, 2014

Click here to listen to this sermon.Mother & Infant


Fourth Sunday of Easter                                        Trinity Lutheran Church

11 May 2014                                                              Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +


Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother.”

Mothers’ Day Sermon


Well, there you have it.  It’s been my pastoral privilege to preach on the vocation of motherhood every year on this day.  Here I go again.  Hope it’s edifying and brings you great joy.


I remind you once again that the Fourth Commandment begins with the word “honor” for a very specific reason.  Kevin Durant, appropriately, gave his mom props/honor and thanks to God in his NBA MVP acceptance speech.  So on this Mothers’ Day let’s review this point.  I can’t say everything that I want to say today otherwise we’d be here all afternoon.  You know how preachers are.  Especially Kuhlman.  So right out of the chute I want you to know that mothers are to be honored because God uses them as His instruments to give life.  Isn’t that outstanding?  God creates creatures through His creatures:  Moms!  And you thought a stork dropped off babies on peoples’ doorsteps!  Good grief!


Through the divinely ordained vocation of motherhood God Himself is at work in the world!  THIS IS PRECISELY WHY THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT BEGINS WITH THE WORD:  “HONOR.”  You are to “honor” your mother because God is hidden but actively at work in the world for the benefit and good of His creation through motherhood!  It is God who empowers a woman to be a mother and through the woman He creates, sustains, and raises children.  Motherhood, therefore, is a divine and holy vocation!


One would think what I’m about to say is a no brainer but it sure isn’t anymore.  So I have to say it.  Are you listening?  Good.  Here goes.  A woman’s body is created so that a baby can be conceived in her womb. God has given the woman an incredible power.  What is that?  The ability to provide or give life!  This, of course, is God’s power but He uses the woman as His instrument to give life.  In other words, God exercises His life giving power through women He calls to be mothers!


Genesis 3:20, “Adam called his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.”  


Here we learn more about the calling of the mother.  Note the verb “called.”  Naming is associated with “calling” and therefore with vocation!  THE MEANING OF EVE’S NAME SHOWS THE ESSENCE OF HER CALLING.


Literally, “Eve” in Hebrew is very close to “living” and sounds just like the Hebrew word for “life giver”!  Eve is the mother of all the living.   A MOTHER IS A LIFE GIVER!


During pregnancy Mom shares her body, her nutrients, her strength and her own space with her baby.  After the labor and delivery the mother continues to keep her child alive by nursing her, keeping her clean, protecting her from the cold, diseases, etc.


For those of you ladies who have been there and done all that you know that motherhood is a very physical and demanding vocation. Mom endures the physical and emotional changes of carrying her child for nine months.  She suffers the dangers of labor and delivery.  She changes diapers.  She cleans up puke.  She calms temper tantrums.  She bandages wounds (physical and mental).  She drives the SUV to practices, games, field trips, birthday parties, and school.  She has “bleacher butt” from sitting at so many games, recitals, and other school activities.  She works extra hours at her job or takes a part-time job to help pay for all the fees, clothes, shoes, band instruments, insurance, and groceries.  She manages to guide her child through all stages of growing up.


One of the challenges of being a mother is that every child is unique (like a snowflake).  Some children have special needs while the others do not.  Some children need lots of attention whereas others do not.  Mothers respond as best they can by using whatever gifts the Lord has given them and then they grow too in the vocation of motherhood.


Ladies, the Lord teaches you through the vocation of motherhood what it means to “deny yourself” (Mark 8:34) and “offer your body as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) in loving service to your children.  Loving, self-sacrificial service is what motherhood is all about.  Therefore, Mom is like a little “Christ” for her child.


Mom service of love for her baby begins from the very moment of conception.  She nourishes the baby even before she knows that there is a life conceived and growing in her womb.  How beautiful!  This is one of the most exquisite aspects of God’s work through vocation!  Sometimes we find ourselves serving others without even realizing that we are doing so (Matthew 25:34-40)!


So, from conception to birth the mother serves her child.  She can’t help it!  The prenatal help that she provides flows directly from her body without any decision on her part.  Her hormones shift and rage as the pregnancy continues.  Mom is literally reshaped and restructured physically as she serves her child.  God crafts, nourishes, protects, and cares for the baby through Mom!  Mom receives the gift within her!  She gives up part of herself to form the baby and she provides her child with room, sustenance, and shelter.


All this care continues after the baby is born. However, the nurture is even more intentional because the newborn baby is quite vulnerable and changes quickly.  As the baby’s needs shift Mom’s service adapts accordingly.  AND GOD CONTINUES TO CARE FOR THE CHILD THROUGH MOM!


Therefore, Mom uses all her intellect, her soul and all her gifts as she cares and raises her child.  She feeds, clothes, washes and molds her child in the ordinary, every day, and yet very challenging tasks that too many people shun these days.  She is an example of what it means to live, make choices, explore and be in relationships with others.


Mothers’ Day can be bittersweet for many.  Some women cannot get pregnant for whatever reason.  Do not despair.  The Lord could certainly use you to adopt.  Adoption is a God-pleasing thing.  In fact, it concretely illustrates the Gospel.  We are given salvation by the Lord when He adopts us as His children, His little ones who believe in Him!  In adoption the child does not choose the parents but the parents choose the child!  In the same way our heavenly Father chooses us to be His children!


The fact that God the Father has adopted us as His sons (children) is precisely why Christians have always been the leaders of adopting the “fatherless.”  Adoption is one of the ways that the Lord makes a barren woman “a happy mother of children,” (Psalm 113:9).


There are approximately 145 million orphans in the world.  Adoption is a way to love and serve children who are casualties of chaotic or oppressive foreign countries (Russia, China, Central & South America, the Balkan countries, Sudan, etc.). Some of you did adopt a child or children.  God used you as His hands and mouth to care for them and raise them.  The Brad and Tammy Rikli family of our EM community have adopted – (How many? SEVEN) yes, seven children!  Three from Columbia and four from China — if I’m not mistaken. Adoption is a very specific way to be pro-life at the deepest level and to exhibit the power of the gospel in peoples’ lives.


Well, I’d like to say more but as usual I’m getting too long-winded. So I’d better wrap this up and call it good.


Mom, you are the Lord’s instrument.  You are the Lord’s hands and mouth so that you can serve your neighbor:  YOUR CHILD!  Again, Mom you are a little Christ for your child.  You live not to be served but to serve as you give her your (time, talents, energy, emotions, health, hope, faith) as Mom for your child.  The Lord gives meaning to this service of motherhood.  He even ties it together with the salvation of all humans because the Lord, through motherhood, when the time was just right, sent His only begotten Son to be conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit to live perfectly and to pull off a Good Friday as the Savior of sinners among whom you and I qualify!


So, finally, I beg you to use Good Shepherd Jesus appropriately on this Mothers’ Day.  Where you have sinned against your mother or where you mothers have sinned against your children, let Good Shepherd Jesus and His divine blood mediate and purify you from all sin.  Confess your sins to each other and forgive each other as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you everything.


Happy honoring your mother as the Lord’s instrument who gave you life and took care of you!


Happy Mothers’ Day!


In the Name of Jesus.




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