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Motherhood Matters!

May 14, 2017

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Fifth Sunday of Easter                              Trinity Lutheran Church

14 May 2017                                                Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Genesis 1:27-28

 

Generally speaking, motherhood is not all that attractive these days. One study I read recently reports that 46% of the American public says that it makes no difference if women have no children. Wow! How sad is that! In addition, the same study asserts that only 9% of teenagers say that they plan to have a family.[1] To a certain extent I can’t blame them. After seeing or being part of so much divorce, abusive-dysfunctional-crash-and-burn-families, getting married and having a family is, to them, an impossible and unattractive fantasy. So, many women choose a career instead of marriage and a family. Many girls and young women over the years have told me: “I’ll never get married and I’ll never have any children.” As if being a wife, mother and having a family is like living in a penitentiary – suffering under cruel and unusual punishment. As if getting married and having kids is a colossal waste and really doesn’t matter.

 

Well, it really does matter. Motherhood does make a difference. It’s time to listen to the Lord’s Word and trust His good and gracious will.

 

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

 

Male. Female. / Man. Woman. / Husband. Wife. / Father. Mother. That’s the Lord’s very good order from the beginning. It is very good to not only be a woman and wife but also a mother. All three go together. We really should take note of that. In the context of holy marriage God blesses the husband (a man) and the wife (a woman) with these words: “Be fruitful and increase in number.”

 

Being a woman, marrying a man, having children (even if by adoption) and being a mother is God-pleasing. Womanhood, marriage, and motherhood are holy vocations – holy because God’s Word is attached to them. And more: God uses a woman’s body with the help of a man’s body (the male and female body parts fit perfectly!) to create life. Procreation is what we appropriately call it. “Be fruitful and increase in number.”

 

I remind you all again: motherhood is God-pleasing. It is holy work. Motherhood matters! It’s a difference maker! God uses you ladies as His instruments to create and take care of the little ones. From conception to birth. From infancy to preschool. From kindergarten to college.

 

Mothers, I know that many times you get worn down with all the sleepless nights, ubiquitous illnesses, earaches, dirty diapers, feedings and baths.   Fatigued from putting together the never-ending peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, changing the sheets, making the bed and doing the laundry. Bushed from homework help, driving forevermore to soccer, piano, volleyball and football practices. Don’t despair. Don’t give up. Stick with it. Motherhood matters.

 

All the everyday, mundane and ordinary tasks that you do for your children and your family are the Lord’s service to them. The Lord uses you. Your mouth. Your hands. Your feet. Your body. He takes care of His creatures through you – HIS CREATURES!

 

Mom, the Lord has very good use for you. Motherhood matters. You are the Lord’s instruments.  You are His hands and mouth so that you can serve your neighbor:  your child!  Mom, you are a Christ for your child.  You live not to be served but to serve. You offer your bodies as living sacrifices as you give your life (time, talents, energy, emotions, health, hope, faith) as Mom for your child.

 

Motherhood clearly demonstrates loving service for others especially your children and family! With a child your sacrificial service of love begins with the pregnancy. You nourish the baby even before you know that there is a life conceived and growing in your womb. How beautiful is that! This is one of the most exquisite aspects of God’s work through motherhood! Sometimes you find yourselves 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’s body is literally reshaped and restructured 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!

 

It is the Lord that GIVES MEANING to this service of motherhood. Did you hear what I just said? I’d better say it again. The Lord GIVES MEANING TO MOTHERHOOD! It is for good! To create life. To take care of life. To sustain life.  Mom is a life giver! Or the Lord is a life giver through Mom. The Lord exercises His incredible life giving power through women He calls to be mothers!

 

And what is more magnificent is that He even ties motherhood together with the salvation of all people that is won by Jesus! After all, the Lord, when the time was just right, sent His only begotten Son to be conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary to live and die as the Savior of the ungodly!  Jesus, the Christ-Child, reveals much about the vocation of motherhood. In other words, through Jesus God the Father redeems motherhood and turns this vocation into the very instrument by which He redeems the world and reconciles all sinners to Himself. No wonder that in the Fourth Commandment God expects us to honor our mothers.

 

Yes, you are to honor your mother. Why? That’s should be a no-brainer but I it’s not. I have to spell it out. Here’s why: God gave you life through your mother. God gave you the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit when your mother carried you to the baptismal font as an infant. She taught you to pray the Lord’s Prayer, say the Apostle’s Creed and read you the Bible stories. She brings you to the divine service to hear the gospel and eat and drink the Lord’s Body and Blood. She prays for you daily. That you will always believe in Jesus the Savior.

 

When and where you do not honor your mother you sin. Not only against her but also against the Lord. Where you have failed to honor your mother it is time use Jesus, the Son of Mary properly – for the forgiveness of your sin. Mothers, where you have sinned against your children and family you too need to use the Son of Mary, the Lord Jesus properly – for the forgiveness of your sins. Children, confess your sin to your mother – mother, forgive your children. Mothers confess your sins to your children – and children forgive your mother.

 

Motherhood matters. The Lord has good use of you mothers in a family. As a basic and fundamental component of creation, it helps hold society and our country together. It provides a wonderful example for the young girls in our communities and congregation and helps to instill in them what is God-pleasing.

 

Your life is one of immense self-denial and self-sacrifice so that your marriage and family work. And in that service that the Lord gives you as a mother you can experience some of the deepest satisfaction and happiness that anyone in the world can ever have. And the Lord, through you, makes motherhood extremely desirable and attractive for your girls and the girls in our congregation, communities and the world.

 

After all, the natural compulsion is to be in a family, to marry and to have children. It springs up by itself by virtue of our creation and through the powerful echoes of God’s Word at the beginning in Eden: “Be fruitful and increase in number.”

 

So, for our mothers let us give thanks to the Lord and honor them as His instruments to care for us.

 

Have a great Mother’s Day!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

[1] Erin Davis, Beyond Bath Time.

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