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Honor Your Mother!

May 8, 2016

Mother

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Easter 7                                                                     Trinity Lutheran Church

8 May 2016                                                              Murdock, NE

 

+Jesu Juva +

 

Fourth Commandment: Honor Your Mother

 

The commandment begins with the word, “honor.” HONOR your father and your mother. Today we focus on Mom or motherhood for just a few minutes. Why honor her? Well, it’s really quite simple. It is because God Himself used your mother to give you life and to preserve your life. God could have just snapped His fingers to create you. God could drop cheeseburgers, French fries, chicken nuggets and pizza from the sky to feed you. However, He didn’t! And He doesn’t!

 

God utilizes Moms. He used your mother! Your mother – yes, YOUR MOTHER, is God’s instrument to give you life. Your mother is God’s hand – God’s mouth to take care of you. Your mother is God’s mask. God hides behind Mom to do His cup of tea: creating and sustaining life. He’s all in with that! That’s why the commandment begins with the word: “honor.” As you honor your mother you also honor God Himself who has such good use of her for your sake.

 

Isn’t that incredible? It sure is. It’s all so physical. So creaturely. So ordinary. So mundane. So very important. This is precisely God’s cup of tea. It’s how God rolls. God creates creatures through His creatures. God rolls up His sleeves and works hard at taking care of His creatures through His creatures. A man and woman get married, have a honeymoon and then nine months later: a baby! Creatures having creatures! No – God creates creatures through the bodies of your Mom and Dad!

 

Motherhood is a divine vocation just like marriage between a man and woman is a divine estate. Motherhood goes all the way back to the beginning. When everything was “very good.” God blesses motherhood. God is delighted with motherhood. “Be fruitful and multiply,” (Gen. 1:28). Getting married and being a mother is fundamental. It is the ABCs of what it means to be a human being.

 

Part of being a human being in the biblical sense is not to live for yourself but for others. Not to be served but TO SERVE. Faith alone in Good Friday Jesus for salvation naturally then leads to the sacrifical life of love for the sake of others. Offering your body as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12). In a mother’s case, her life is one of total sacrifice – FOR THE BABY. FOR HER CHILDREN. FOR HER FAMILY.

 

With a child Mom’s service of love begins with the pregnancy. 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)!

 

The baby stretches Mom’s body to the limits. After all, Mom shares her body with her baby. Pulls her emotions to the breaking point. Devours all her time and energy. All the aches and pains. The morning sickness. The intense labor pains. Mom pushes with all her might – almost losing her life – so that the baby can be born. It’s so exhausting. Draining. Such hard work.

 

So, from conception to birth Mom 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.

AND GOD CONTINUES TO CARE FOR THE CHILD THROUGH MOM!

But that’s only the beginning. For years Mom’s life is all about the children. The family. All the time. All the energy. All the financial strain. All the commitment. All the sacrifice. Fixing meals. Laundry. Changing diapers. Cleaning up the puke. Washing the bodies. On and on it goes. Relentless.

 

Now you know why motherhood – what God calls “very good” and blesses is mocked and rejected. Motherhood is despised because it supposedly prevents you ladies from reaching your potential. When life as a human being is defined as living only for yourself – for your needs – to meet your desires and wants – then mothers are not honored. Instead, mothers are dishonored. And so is God.

 

Do you despise motherhood? Do you believe that the heart of being a human being is to live only for yourself? To fulfill only yourself? To take care of me, myself and I only? Do you believe the lie that having children will destroy the world – as if you’ll overpopulate the planet and bring about utter devastation on the earth? Do you believe that having children has to take a back seat to everything else in life? Do you think you have better words than the Lord’s from the beginning “very good” words: “be fruitful and multiply”? If so, then you dishonor God and what is pleasing to Him, namely, motherhood. And you need to repent. You are not God. You are His creature.

 

Again, God instituted the vocation of mother. He uses Mom to create and sustain life. Yours in fact. So, honor your mother. Honor her as the Lord’s instrument. As the very person the Lord used to give birth to you. To wipe your … nose. To clothe you. To feed you. To love you.

 

Now, as I have said before and I say it again, Mother’s Day is a bittersweet holiday. Why? Well, there are many reasons. Sometimes there are miscarriages. For those of you that have experienced this there is the consolation that you were mother to that child and that God used you to serve the child in hidden ways during the short time you had together. You will see the child again in heaven.

 

Sometimes a woman can’t get pregnant for whatever reason. Adoption is certainly a wonderful option here. God has good use of that too! Some have lost your mother too soon to an illness or an accident. For that you have the Lord’s promise to you His believers that He is the Resurrection and the Life and that on the Last Day there will be the resurrection of the body and life everlasting together in heaven.

 

But Mother’s Day is also bittersweet because we are all sinners. Moms sin against their children. Children sin against their mothers. You know this is true. Many mothers routinely violate their vocation and do not live as faithful mothers. Some do it in the Roe v. Wade way. Others do it the Hollywood way. Or simply put: the old Adamic Genesis 3 way.

 

You also know, very sadly, that it is the people we love the most – the people that we are the closest to – they are the ones that we always seem to hurt the most. What we would never do or say to a neighbor down the street a mother says to her child and vice versa. It’s tragic. Oh, so heartbreaking. Consequently, too many Moms and children are not even on speaking terms. They refuse to speak to each other. Grudges are tightly held. Anger festers. Resentment grows. Bitterness escalates. Sin rules. Sin isolates. Sin destroys. Families and lives. Not only in this life but eternally – hellaciously!

 

Thanks be to God that Jesus took on human flesh and entered our sinful mess. He has taken all your sin in His body on the cross and answered for it. His blood cleanses you from all sin.

 

Did you hear that? I’d better say it again. Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He who knew no sin was made to be sin. The iniquity of the world was laid upon Him – ON THE CROSS! He brings peace. Divine peace – between you and God – between you and each other.

 

Where there is sin between you and your mother – confess it. To God and to each other. But more importantly, let Jesus mediate! The Good Friday Jesus! Speak His Good Friday words of forgiveness to each other. Let your mouth be the mouth of Jesus. Let your words be the words of Jesus in this way: “I forgive you Mom.” Or, “I forgive you son / daughter.”

 

His divine word of forgiveness will bear much fruit in your life. I promise you that! The gospel not only enlivens you to live by faith in Jesus for salvation but also to live a life of love as a mother. Living for the kids. Living for the father and the family. Sacrificially. The Romans 12 way: offering your body as a living sacrifice.

 

Sacrificial living! Really folks! That is what it means to live as a human being according to the Bible. It is the “very good” life that goes all the back to the beginning that God richly blesses. Motherhood is one of the ways, to use the language of the world, for a woman to reach her potential. Or to have fulfillment in life – because it is one of the ways to live sacrificially for others.

 

Better yet – better said — it is why Jesus has redeemed you. He has redeemed your creatureliness ladies. Part of that creatureliness is being a mother. This too is the Lord’s good use of you in the world. To be His instrument to create and/or take care of life. This is foundational. No mothers – No life. It’s as simple as that. It’s OK to be a mother. In fact, it’s “very good” to be a mother. The Lord Jesus has Good Friday wounds to prove it! You are free.

 

Happy Mother’s Day ladies!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

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