May 10, 2015 – A Celebration for our Mothers

John 15:9-17

 As we begin our time together today, I thought I’d share this story from the internet.  I fear that many of our mother’s in particular may be suffering from this particular malady.  ‘Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.  This is how it manifests:         I decide to water my garden.  As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.  As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.  I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.  I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.  So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.  But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.         I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.  My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking.  I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Pepsi aside so that I don’t accidentally knock it over.  The Pepsi is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.         As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye–they need water.  I put the Pepsi on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.  I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.  I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.  Someone left it on the kitchen table.  I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I’ll be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.  I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.  So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.  Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.         At the end of the day: the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid, there is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter, the flowers don’t have enough water, there is still only 1 check in my check book, I can’t find the remote, I can’t find my glasses, and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.  Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I’m really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail….  Don’t laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!!’

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day.  It is the one day of the year that mothers are to be honored. It’s the day when we set aside our busyness and crazy schedules and are blessed with no dishes to wash, no laundry to do, no meals to cook.  Sorry, I got carried away!  It sounds good for any of us doesn’t it?  I don’t pretend to know all there is to know about being a mother.  I do know that as mothers we go through phases as our children grow and as we get a little older and wiser.  I remember when our daughter was born, my husband and I were scared beyond reason.  I’ve heard it said that parents wished children were born complete with instruction books.  I distinctly remember calling the doctor because my newborn daughter wouldn’t burp.  My kind, wise pediatrician simple said, “Well, maybe she doesn’t have to.”  Since then we have become experts in equal distribution of wealth (making sure all snacks, toys, and markers were evenly dispensed), legal defense (particularly in property distribution matters), scientific alternatives (the many uses for duct tape and super glue), artistic expression in ALL types of medium, and like the apostle Paul, we have served in a tent-maker capacity!

Here are some observations about real Moms – you’ve probably seen this circulating around the internet:

  • Real Mothers don’t eat quiche; They don’t have time to make it.
  • Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils Are probably in the sandbox.
  • Real Mothers often have sticky floors, Filthy ovens and happy kids.
  • Real Mothers know that dried play dough Doesn’t come out of carpets.
  • Real Mothers don’t want to know what The vacuum just sucked up.
  • Real Mothers sometimes ask ‘Why me?’ And get their answer when a little voice says, ‘Because I love you best!
  • Real Mothers know that a child’s growth is not measured by height or years or grade. It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother…

Mothers in general have mastered multi-tasking with the best of them.  Whether moms are stay-at-home moms, part of the dual-income role or are single moms doing the work of two people, they still manage to make it to soccer games and Scout meetings.  And there are those moms who know the importance of teaching their children about the love of Jesus Christ for us all.

Our scripture reading refers to God’s incredible love for us.  For many of us, we have seen God’s love reflected in our parents.  As we honor our mothers today, consider the fact that as much as our mothers show their love for us, God showed love to us as well through God’s son Jesus Christ.  For all intents and purposes, God is a parent.  As God’s children, we are given the best God has to offer, just as a mother or parent will often forgo something for themselves in order to give to their children.   A teacher asked a boy this question: “Suppose your mother baked a pie and there were seven of you–your parents and five children. What part of the pie would you get?”  “A sixth,” replied the boy.  “I’m afraid you don’t know your fractions,” said the teacher.  “Remember, there are seven of you.”  “Yes, teacher,” said the boy, “but you don’t know my mother.  Mother would say she didn’t want any pie.”  As a mom will often sacrifice for her children, so God shows infinite love to us by sending his only son to face persecution and death, while conquering death through the resurrection.

Some of you here today are not mothers.  But you are a part of this community of Christian believers.  We have a small but mighty group of young people here that is observing everything we do.  In some way, every woman here is a surrogate mother, grandmother, aunt, cool big sister, or friend to every one of our young people.  At this moment our confirmation class is planning for their service on 5/31.  They are enthused and motivated, eagerly working to put together a very meaningful service.  They obtained that eagerness from watching us.  They felt that ‘calling’ if you will because someone in this church embodied the love of Jesus Christ and shared it with these young people.

Our children need guidance.  Our children need security.  Our children need love and support, especially when things get tough.  Children today are literally bombarded with over-stimulation through the vast options in the media – internet, IPod, gaming, virtual reality, not to mention the numerous options for sports and dance and Scouts and birthday parties.  As parents and surrogate parents, we need to find ways to embody the life of Jesus, so that our children can understand and experience the love of God as we love and care for others.  That’s an incredible responsibility, yet it is one we have agreed to as this body of Christ, sharing the love of Jesus in words and actions. It is part of our mission statement, “…to raise up the next generation of believers.”

Mother’s Day – it seems like such a small token to honor those who have nurtured us throughout our lives.  Not everyone here is a mother, but everyone here has a mother.  For some, we have good memories of our mothers and of our childhood.  We were shown the love of God through our mothers, who often traded their time, their goals, their very selves for us day in and day out.

Others do not have such fond memories of their mothers.  Not all mothers are kind and caring.  Some mothers are so overwhelmed by all their duties and responsibilities they choose to walk away from their children.  This is a sad and harsh reality for many children.  Some mothers leave us all too soon, through illness or accident.  Some mothers grieve this day at the loss of their children.  While we cannot understand these cases, perhaps we can turn to the loving arms of Jesus for comfort and strength to pass on to our children and to the children of Mayo.

Mothers who love God and feel called to teach their children of God’s love for them are truly treasures here on earth.  Some of our mothers have passed on and are now treasures in heaven.  As we honor our mothers today, we can see a glimpse of God’s love for us through the love and care of our mothers.  I truly understand the blessings of a group of caring adults that serve as the village to help raise a child.  We are the village and there are many children who need our guidance.  We have the awesome privilege of seeing a glimpse of the future in the eyes of our children.  Let us walk in the light of God’s love and share that love with our young people and our community.  Amen.

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