Summary: This is a sermon for Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day Sermon for CATM – May 11, 2008
Mom stories. We all have them. My first memory is my mom…yelling…but not as you might expect. It was a yell that saved my life. I was three years old and I had been a passenger in one of those old Volkswagon vans from the sixties on a lengthy journey from Toronto to Mexico.
We must have been driving for a great many hours in the interior of Mexico and we were to stop in an area well outside the city. As soon as the van stopped and the side door opened, I jumped out and started running. All that pent-up kid energy just begging to be released. So I ran and ran and ran…and then I heard the piercing cry: “MATTHEW!!!” I still remember the way that shriek ran up my spine. I stopped in my tracks and turned around.
My mom ran up to me from some distance. I had no idea what was wrong. My mom took my hand firmly and walked me a few feet from where I had stopped, up over a slight rise in the landscape.
On the other side, just a few feet away from where I stopped, was a massive chasm…a deep gorge that had no bottom. A couple of more seconds of running and I would have been free-falling to my death…at the age of three. That’s my earliest memory.
So, you might imagine. I REALLY appreciate my mom. Moms. Wow…are they important. Sometimes our moms are why we are still alive. Of course, our moms are why we’re here in the first place. And you know, moms are from God.
There’s a reason that moms know how or learn how to be moms. Some of that may be from how moms remember how they were raised. But a big part of it is that a mother’s love ideally is a lot like God’s love, a mother’s heart toward her children is a lot like God’s heart toward His children…towards you and toward me.
I recognize that mother’s day and father’s day brings mixed emotions to many, or perhaps one or both of those days is only a source of painful memories.
I recognize that and I get how deep that hurt goes. So you may be hearing or watching the message today while seeing red.
I just want to say that I understand and appreciate that. Nevertheless I feel that celebrating motherhood today is an important thing, not the least because we can get a glimpse into the mother-heart of God that I believe we need in order to balance what for many of us is, with good biblical reason a “Father” orientation when we think of God
The first thing I want to say is that, like God’s love, a mother’s love is a birthing love.
No matter how sensitive and understanding a guy tries to be, he, or I, will never understand from a place of experience the travail that a woman goes through to give birth. Reka, a former YSM staff member, just had her baby just the other day…
baby Leya I think is her name…and Maryellen, who was with her for most of the birthing process, was reveling at Reka’s strength and just how much incredibly hard work she put into delivering the baby.
It boggles the mind…and I’ve heard from more than one husband and father how their respect for the mother of their children became infinite once they had witnessed them giving birth.
God’s love is a birthing love too…you see, love is creative. Love creates. Love multiplies. Love blossoms. From the DNA of the man and the woman, God brings forth new life.
Love is creative…therefore love births. God, of course, is the author of our creation, the One who creates the conditions under which new life can spring forth.
But he is also the one who forms us in our mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body”.
You are a God-created person. Wonderfully made. Now
Could a mother ever forget her child? The prophet Isaiah asks that. God says: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”. [Isaiah 49:15-16]
Could God never fail to remember us, either when we’re in the womb, or when we’re in some other stage of life? We may feel forgotten. I remember as a teenager feeling very much forgotten and alone and irrelevant.