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The Lord’s Gift — Mother!

May 13, 2018

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Seventh Sunday of Easter                       Trinity Lutheran Church

13 May 2018                                              Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +


Fourth Commandment: Honor Your Mother


It’s that time of the year again. Time flies. Time once again to teach about motherhood. There is the high pastoral care need to do so. There is the high personal need as well. Why?


Well, Mother’s Day is, for many folks, a bittersweet day.

Some people are estranged from their mothers.

Some don’t know their mothers.

Some have been abandoned or abused by their mothers.

Some have mothers who are addicts.

Some mothers have passed on their addictions to their



Many women feel like failures as mothers because a child

turned out badly, or rejected the divine and saving

Triune Name in holy baptism or have abandoned the


Some desperately want to be mothers but God hasn’t given

them the gift of a child.

Some have miscarried.

Some have aborted their child.


For these reasons and more we need to talk about motherhood.


God protects and honors the gift of motherhood with a special commandment. “Honor your father and your mother.” God has dire warnings for those who don’t. For example the book of Proverbs says: “The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.” (30:17) How’s that grab ya on Mother’s Day?


Well, there are better reasons to honor your mother than the fear of having your eyes plucked out and eaten by birds! Let me offer a few today.


For starters, your mother is God’s mask, God’s agent, God’s instrument by which He gave you life and through whom He cares for your life. Since Mom is God’s mask honor her and love her. She carried you in her womb for nine tough months. Put up with morning sickness, cravings, swollen feet, achy joints and the struggle with death itself in the delivery room so that you could take your first breath. She changed your filthy, stinking diapers. Wiped your drooling mouth. Nursed you. Burped you. Brought you to holy baptism. Taught you how to pray the Lord’s Prayer and memorize the Creed. Took you to Sunday School. Gave you an example of what it means to trust in Jesus alone for salvation. Cut your sandwiches in triangles. Made your bed. Washed your clothes. Put up with all your backtalk. Suffered all your breaking curfew and other sundry sins. That too is reason enough to honor her.


In addition, motherhood is God’s precious gift. To be a mother is a high and holy calling. Never forget that ladies. God blesses and honor this vocation. He created motherhood from the beginning when He created male and female – when He instituted holy marriage to be between a man and a woman – and when He preached, “be fruitful and multiply.” The first woman and mother was Eve. Her name means “life.” She is the mother of all the living. Woman was taken from man but every man is born of a woman. Everyone has a mother. As the Lord’s gift. Being a mother is the highest and holiest calling given a woman by the Lord. Seriously!


For a Christian woman, the shape of her life is twofold. Faith toward Jesus for salvation. And then the life of love. The self-sacrificing giving of her self for her children. Offering her body as a living sacrifice. As she lives not to be served but to serve her life is a sign of the gospel itself.


Yes, that’s right motherhood is an expression of the gospel because, as one author has written, “mothers suffer and sacrifice themselves to create and sustain new life.” (Gene Veith)


Ladies, God created your bodies so that it can engender life in the womb. “God sustains mother and child and allows that woman to work with him to sustain and nourish the child he has given. During pregnancy, a mother shares her body’s warmth, nutrients, and even her space with her child! After the child is born, she continues to keep her child alive and cause the child to develop all the way into adulthood. The mother’s task is profoundly physical—having to do with her body and with the bodily needs of her child—but her intellect and soul also serve the child through planning, decision making, and prayer. God calls her to use the different gifts he has given her to serve her neighbor, the child. In a very real sense, a mother is asked to give all she has: time, energy, intelligence, health, hope, and faith.” (Veith)


“Eating for two, changing diapers, calming tantrums, tending wounds physical and otherwise, ushering children through all of the challenges of growing up, all fall within God’s vocation of motherhood. In a wide variety of ways, we see mothers, also in Scripture, doing their best to provide for, protect, and educate their children. Complicating the tasks is that every child, like every snowflake, is unique. Some children have special needs. Others need varying amounts of company and guidance. Mothers respond according to their own abilities and opportunities and then grow as mothers themselves. For all of the stress and panic and worries of child-raising, mothers can rest assured that the burden is not theirs alone. They can have the confidence that God is working through them, even despite themselves sometimes, to form their children for his glory.” (Veith)

Now, as we all know, mother’s aren’t perfect. And we shouldn’t expect them to be. Mothers are sinners just like the rest of us. Nonetheless Mom the sinner is still your mother. So you are to honor her for that. Because she has been given the office of motherhood.

When we don’t honor our mothers, we also dishonor ourselves. And we dishonor God. Anger toward your mother hurts you more than it hurts your mother. It’s like a cancer eating away at your innards and your relationships with others. People who are not a peace with their mothers find it hard to be at peace with anyone, especially spouses, children and members of a congregation.

Now, if you’ve been hurt, damaged, sinned against by your mother, or if you’ve hurt, damaged and sinned against your mother, let today be a day of reconciliation and peace. Let the Good Friday bloody wounds of Jesus heal you both. Let His Good Friday cross be the lens through which you view your mother. After all, “the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin” (1 John 1:7) – the sin you commit against her and even the sins she’s committed against you. Children, it’s time to see your mother the way God sees you. Mother’s, it’s time to see your children the way God sees you, namely, through the all sin atoning and total sin forgiving death of Jesus on the cross. Jesus died for you. Jesus died for your mother. Jesus forgives you.

It’s time to let the love of Jesus flow through you to the woman who gave you life. Forgive her. Cherish her. Honor her. Give thanks to God for her no matter how many mistakes or bad choices she’s made.

Today is the day to give thanks and praise to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ for the gift of motherhood by which God gave us life and sustains our life.

Happy Mother’s Day.

In the Name of Jesus.



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