Sermons

Summary: Parenting, obedience, mothers, children

CHILDREN AT PLAY

Proverbs 23: 19-23 (p 464) May 13, 2012

INTRODUCTION:

My Mom will be 86 years old on her birthday in July…She still leads 2 Bible studies at her church…she still wakes up and goes to sleep reading her Bible every day….she still meets with the minister of her church and others in leadership to pray for its staff and its direction.

She still mentors other young women in the faith, and she still takes care of much of the physical stuff at her house including the meals for herself and my brother…she still drives herself to all these things and much more.

She has a little trouble with her hearing…but she still is the most amazing and Godly woman I’ve ever met. She’s feisty, funny, and absolutely beautiful in Christ…even as she approaches the better part of 90 her heart is focused on the right things…her feet are still on the right path. I share one of my favorite stories at many of the funerals I do...and it’s this one…the first time I ever shared it was at my Mema’s funeral in 1982….my mom’s mom…my first funeral.

A LITTLE PARABLE FOR MOTHERS

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is the way long?” she asked. And her guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young woman cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, and storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Oh Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.” And the Mother said, “This is better than the brightness of the day, for I have taught my children courage.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary but at all times she said to her children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.” And the Mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth—clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds and everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and months and the years, and the Mother grew old, and she was little and bent. But her children were strong and tall, and walked with courage. And when the way was hard, they helped their mother; and when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, golden gates flung wide.

And the Mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”

And the children said, “You will always walk with us mother, even when you have gone through the gates.” And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her, and they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a Living Presence.”

I know for many of you…Mother’s Day is difficult…for some it’s because children weren’t possible…for others, Mom is no longer physically present for you to honor, for others Mom wasn’t the perfect picture of Christ’s love in your home….

But on our journey in this life there are very few more important signs than “children at play”…and very few individuals that shape our journey more…helping us choose the right path than Mom.

The book of Proverbs is one of my favorites in the Bible…it’s a collection of wise sayings and good advice for daily living…there are 31 chapters which makes it perfect to read in a month, and journal…And much of the advice is written as if its spoken from a parent to a son or daughter…

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