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Summary: A Mother’s Day message on the gift of life and the issues surrounding life in our culture

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A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small

TCF Mother’s Day Sermon

May 10, 2009

Good morning, and Happy Mother’s Day. Have you noticed that when you’re a mother, you tend to look at the world in a whole different way than you did before you were a mom? It gets to the point where you almost redefine the meanings of certain words. For example:

Feedback: The inevitable result when the baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.

Sterilize: What you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it, and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it and wiping it with saliva.

Then, of course, there are the kinds of things you’d never hear a mother say. Things like:

• "Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too"

• "Let me smell that shirt -- Yeah, it’s good for another week"

• "Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I’ll be glad to feed and walk him every day"

• "Well, if little Johnny’s mamma says it’s OK, that’s good enough for me."

• "The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It’s not like I’m running a prison around here."

• "I don’t have a tissue with me ... just use your sleeve"

For this Mother’s Day message, we’re going to do something we haven’t done on a Mother’s Day in five years. It’s been five years since we had a Mother’s Day message focusing on the important issues of life in our nation. There’s no better day to look at some of the issues surrounding the value of life than Mother’s Day.

For all the moms out there this morning, I believe that one of the best ways we can honor you, and mark Mother’s Day, is to call attention to the fact that you’ve done something that all of us men here today cannot do....You can bear life. Only God can give life, breathe life into us. But mothers are God’s instruments to bear that life, nurture its growth in the womb, bring it into the world. I hope this morning, with a little bit different kind of Sunday sermon, we can help equip you to understand the current questions in life issues, understand our biblical foundation for being pro-life, and have some ideas about how we can respond.

Of course, the classic passage of scripture, which reveals God’s creative work in the body of a woman, is this:

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Here, we see God at work inside the psalmist’s mother...David writes – You – that is - God, knit me together in my mother’s womb. The reality that women who become mothers are God’s means for bringing new human life into the world has been under attack for more than 36 years in America, since before the legalization of abortion in all 50 states in 1973. The unborn could no longer call the womb a safe place after that, and that attack on life has only escalated in new and different ways since that time.

The most recent battlefront – and I hate to say this, but yes, it is a battle – but the most recent battlefront inspired the title of this morning’s message.

A person’s a person no matter how small.

You may remember the Dr. Suess story Horton Hears A Who. Written in 1954, in the inimitable style of Dr Suess:

the book tells the story of Horton the Elephant who, on the fifteenth of May in the Jungle of nool, hears a small speck of dust talking to him. It turns out the speck of dust is actually a tiny planet, home to a city called ‘‘Who-ville,’’ inhabited by microscopic-sized inhabitants known as Whos.

The Whos ask Horton to protect them from harm. Horton agrees to do this, proclaiming throughout the book that ‘‘even though you can’t see or hear them at all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.’’ In doing so he is ridiculed and forced into a cage by the other animals in the jungle for believing in something that they are unable to see or hear. Wikipedia entry

The irony of this story, when seen in the light of what’s happening today, is really quite striking. It reminds me of one of my personal heroes of the faith, William Wilberforce. He served in the British Parliament for more than 40 years. He became a Christian soon after being elected to Parliament in the late 1700s, and soon became active in a sort of pro-life movement of his day – stopping slavery and the African slave trade in Britain. He was ridiculed and criticized for his strong stand against the British slave trade and slavery. But he continued to work, to persuade, to advocate for the abolition of the slave trade and eventually slavery. Slavery was abolished in Britain three days before his death. So, I guess that makes him sort of like Horton the elephant.

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