Summary: Our church and our faith is about people… and God.

This morning I begin by acknowledging two mothers who were and have been very important shapers and influencers of my life. The first is my Grandmother Kane. Though she has been dead for over 3 decades, her influence, especially concerning her deep and long-lasting faith and deep and legendary prayer life, stays with me to this day. (Overhead 1)

She was born to an immigrant family from Wales in the late 1800’s. Her father, my great-grandfather was a Welsh coal miner who moved to Pennsylvania due to health problems. She raised 5 children, 2 girls and 3 boys all of whom saw military action in World War 2 and Korea. Her constant prayer for her sons on the battlefield I believe deepened her prayer life just like many mothers of today.

The second mother is my own. (Overhead 2) She is a woman of great faith and has been a faithful servant of God in the churches that have been a part of her life. She was born and raised in the hills and “hollers” of Tennessee and has been the only member of her immediately family to attend college in, of all places, the great white north of Minnesota. She is here this morning and I am glad to have her here!

One of things that I think this day should do is to help us reflect on the importance and value of moms and motherhood. Have you ever stop to consider, “Where would the world be without mothers?” One answer is, “there wouldn’t be a world without mothers!”

Have you ever wondered what would could happen if moms went on strike? Dirty clothes would create health hazards as they piled up in the hampers, room corners, and on the backs of chairs in our homes. The EPA would demand immediate action.

Grocery stores would see their profits dramatically drop because moms, their most important customers, would not be buying food! Men and children would line the streets and intersections of our fair city wearing T-shirts or holding up signs that would say, “Will pick up room for food!” or “Will get it in the hamper for a meal!”

ISTEP scores, which are tied to federal funds for our schools, would dramatically drop because children would not be doing the homework necessary to pass the test because mom would not be making them do the homework! Or if they did, it would be lost on the way back to school because backpacks would contain a mumbo-jumbo of stuff that would be disorganized because mom had not gone through them! Field trips would become recipes for disaster! (Can you imagine a trip to a zoo with out moms there to help make sure things went smoothly?)

Future musicians of all skill levels and music types would be far less skilled in their craft because their mothers would not make them practice or keep them at their instruments literally tied to them with string or ribbon. (I know about this one, it happened to me.)

What about the church? Sunday school classes would stop! VBS would suffer! Many musical instruments would sit silent! Those tremendous Monday night meals would feature pizza, pizza, and more pizza! Fundraisers that feature wonderful foods and beautiful crafts would stop!

Mom! We salute you and honor you this day! The work that you do and the role that you have is a valuable role. Thank you!

The work that mothers do is varied and important. It is demanding and, at times, hard. It requires lifting. It requires pushing. It requires dexterity. And because it does mom’s body sometimes needs some TLC. That’s where our gift to you comes in today. Tausha ______, a wonderful mom in her own right, comes to present it!

(Tausha’s presentation is given at this point.)

Mothers are people. Mothers are as important to our faith as dads. Mothers are major shapers of values and beliefs.

In a study done several years ago of over 3,500 adults in six major Christian denominations by the Search Institute of Minneapolis, 65% of them ranked mom number one as the most positive faith influence. Spouses were ranked second at 52% and dads were considered a positive faith influence by 32% of the adults. For the 3,100 teens, grade 6 – 12, that were surveyed moms were ranked number one by 73% of them with dads coming in second at 53%. “So mom, you do have a great deal of influence on us regarding spiritual matters!”

This morning we celebrate moms and mothers and in a larger and very important context as we celebrate and embrace God’s people. Who are God’s people? Some say, “only those who are saved.” Others say, “All of us are God’s children.” Who’s right? Really both groups are right.

The church has long been called the people of God and important passages of scripture such as John 1:12, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God,” back up this view. However, as we read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created” we are made aware that all of us are created by God the Father and all of us matter to God.

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