Summary: Mary’s faith and devotion to God is an example to Christian mothers today.
Today, as you know, is Mother’s Day; a day set apart to honor Mothers and Motherhood. Why mention Mother’s Day in church? After all, it’s not a religious holiday. Mother’s Day was created by the state, not the church. Since 1914, the President has made an official proclamation every year encouraging all Americans to honor their mothers on the second Sunday of May.
But although Mother’s Day is not a Christian holiday, it is certainly appropriate for us as Christians to honor Mothers. Motherhood was created by God. It is a part of His creation. And those women who serve God by bearing and caring for children, who faithfully and humbly and lovingly fulfill the role of Mother deserve our honor and respect. And so we are glad to take this opportunity to publicly recognize them for their faithful service to God.
This morning, I’d like to develop the idea of Motherhood as an act of faith. Because properly understood, Motherhood is not merely a personal or family obligation. And as necessary and beneficial as Mothers obviously are to society, it isn’t merely a social function. For the Christian mother, her work is an act of worship and devotion to God. As an example of Motherhood, we’ll consider Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mary willingly accepted God’s call [Text: Luke 1:26-38]
First, note that God doesn’t offer Mary a choice. He doesn’t try to "sell" Mary on the idea, but presents it as an established fact, "This is what is going to happen."
"You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you."
We like to have choices, don’t we? We like to have control over our own destinies, we like to have a say in any decisions that affect us. In fact, we don’t just like to have choices, we expect to have choices, we demand and insist that we have choices.
Part of this attitude is due to our political system. We don’t have a king, we have elected representatives. Every two years, we decide who is going to write our laws; every four years we decide who is going to administer those laws. We delegate authority and power to those whom we choose, but ultimately, the decision-making authority belongs to us (at least theoretically). If they act in ways that we disapprove of, we can vote them out of office. From the president of the United States to the mayor, we are presented with options, and we vote for whom we choose.
Is there anything wrong with this? Like any system, it can be abused, but it’s served us well for over two centuries. No, the problem is when we try to carry over this democratic principle and apply it to our relationship with God. The problem is when we relate to God as if he were an elected official, instead of what He is, which is a king. God does not serve at our pleasure. He is an absolute sovereign, both by power and by right. And He deserves to have that power, by virtue of the fact that He created us.
Listen as God reminds Job of this fact: [Job 38, NIV]
4-5 Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, If you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
12 Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?
16 Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
In other words, "Job, I don’t answer to you."
God doesn’t consult us. He doesn’t ask our opinion. He doesn’t take a poll. He simply acts, according to His perfect wisdom, knowledge, and love. He always does what is right and best, and He doesn’t concern Himself with whether or not we approve. Our choices are either to humble ourselves before God, to obey His decrees and submit to His will, or to rebel and disobey. It’s really as simple as that. Whatever we may think of the way God is running the world; whatever our opinions may be regarding his oversight of that small part of the world which we call our lives, it really doesn’t matter. Our choice is to submit and obey, or to rebel and disobey.
God is worthy of our trust
There are good reasons to obey God.
First of all, God knows what He’s doing. His wisdom and knowledge far exceed ours. His decision-making process would not be improved by consulting us.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -- Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)