Summary: A Mother’s Day sermon focusing on three model mothers from God’s word.
Faith of Our Mothers
Text: Selected texts
Ill: History of Mothers Day. In the United States Mother’s Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother’s Day meetings in Boston, Mass every year.
In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day. Ana hoped Mother’s Day would increase respect and love and strengthen family bonds. She persuaded her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother’s Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.
Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother’s Day. In 1910 the first Mother’s Day proclamation was issued by the governor of West Virginia. By 1911 every state observed Mother’s Day. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official proclamation of Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May. Part of the proclamation states that the U.S. flag is to be displayed on government buildings and at people’s homes “as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”
That was the first official Mother’s Day and the tradition carries on to this day. In fact, Mother’s Day has flourished in the United States. The second Sunday in May has become the most popular day of the year to dine out, and telephone lines record their highest traffic as children everywhere take advantage of this day to express appreciation of their mothers. (We should note that just nine years after the first official Mother’s Day holiday, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become.)
Ill: Faith of Our Fathers song from the hymnal. Even though we have sung of the Faith of Our Fathers, today we are going to examine examples of the Faith of Our Mothers.
The Woman With a Model Prayer
(1Samuel 1:3-20) Elkanah had two wives: Peninnah who was fruitful and Hannah who was childless. But Elkanah loved Hannah more than Peninnah.
Elkanah was a very religious man. Every year, he would take his family to Shiloh to worship and offer sacrifices to the Lord (1:3). Peninnah would repeatedly taunt Hannah for her barrenness until she cried and refused to eat. In the mind of Hebrew women, to have children was a sign of God’s blessing and to not have children was a source of shame. So Hannah would cry because of Peninnah’s continued ridicule. Finally Hannah decided to take the matter to the Lord.
A.Lessons From Hannah’s Prayer
There are important lessons for us to learn from Hannah’s prayers to God.
1.Humility and Submission Before God
a.Hannah humbled herself before the Lord: “She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (vs. 10,11)
b.Hannah was pleading with God, to give her a son not for herself to silence Peninnah but a son who will serve God all his life. Hannah vows she will give him back by dedicating him to God’s service at the tabernacle.
c.Even though in great distress, provoked by years of abuse, in her plea to the Lord Hannah put God first in her desires.
2.Faith in God
a.Having poured her concerns out on to God, Hannah is left no longer sad.
b.There was no assurance that God would grant Hannah’s request but having cast her cares upon God she was without distress or worry.
c.1 Peter 5:6-7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
d.In the course of time, the Lord answered Hannah’s prayer. She conceived and gave birth to a son and she named him Samuel (1:20).
That’s not the end of the story
3.Blessed by God
a.Having put God first and kept her vow, Hannah is further blessed by God.
The Widow with a Model Faith
Luke 4:24-26 “And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.”