Summary: There is nothing more tender than the love of a mother for her child and there are many example where this love has been shown and Mary the mother of Jesus is an excellent example. This sermon is based on one written by Martin Dale.
Mothering Sunday at Gaddesby
Martin Dale Luke 2:33-35
There is a true stories about the Holocaust of the 2nd World War which illustrates a Mother’s love.
Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their 2 sons were arrested, together with his mother and father for the crime of being Jews. They were placed in a Nazi concentration camp.
It was a labour camp, and the rules were simple, "As long as you can do your work, you will be permitted to live.
When you become too weak to do your work, then you will be exterminated."
Rosenberg watched his mother and father being marched off to their deaths as they became too weak to work.
He knew that the next would be his youngest son, David - because David had always been a frail child.
Every evening, Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of hard labour and searched the faces for his family.
When he found them they would huddle together, embrace and thank God for another day of life.
One day Rosenberg came back and didn’t see those familiar faces.
He finally found his eldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping and praying.
He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true."
Joshua turned and said, "It is true, Dad. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him."
"But where is your mother?" asked Rosenberg.
"Oh Dad," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid and he cried.
So Mum said, `There is nothing to be afraid of, David,’ and she took his hand and went with him."
A mother’s love that was so strong that she would willingly sacrifice her life to comfort her child.
There are many stories like this which show the very special bond that a mother has with her son or daughter.
And Mary, Jesus’ mother is no different - being a mother isn’t easy and one mother wrote this poem:
"Some may climb Mt Everest,
in search of thrills galore,
But I scale peaks that rival it,
just past the laundry door:
Slopes of socks and underwear,
sheer cliffs of shirts and pants.
Oh, yes, I live in mortal fear
of a laundry avalanche"
Mothers not only do they seem to be - at times, `superhuman’ but they also speak the same language.
It’s not written in any book, nor is it taught in any University but every mother seems to know the dialect and I’m sure it’s not just in my house:
“Just wait until your dad gets home"
"Pick up your socks"
“If you’d put it in the wash - I could wash it”
"Where’s the change"
"That’s the last time I’m going to tell you."
“ When are you going to clean up your bedroom?”
“What do you think I am – your slave”
Mothers not only speak the same language
but they also share many of the same qualities:
inquisitiveness, tenderness, sympathy, compassion,
a mother’s intuition.
There are few things more powerful than the tears and prayers of a mother.
Few things are more tender than a mother’s hug or compassionate touch.
Someone has pointed out that of the 69 kings of France, only 3 were really loved by their subjects and that these 3 were the only ones reared by their mothers, instead of by tutors or guardians.
And it just may be true - what Napoleon said, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
So for a moment let us look at the characteristics of the mother that God chose to raise His Son.
From the little recorded about Mary in Scripture we do glean the following:
1. Her humility - At Christmas we see the story of the birth of Jesus when the angel Gabriel came to her and told her: ”Mary do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen you are going to conceive and
bear a son and you must name him Jesus”
Mary could have said, "Lord I’m just a girl, I’m not ready to be a mother; I’m not wealthy, I’m not educated.
I’m not worthy of this - maybe it would be better if you chose someone else."
But that’s NOT what Mary said, rather; "I am the Lord’s servant, may it be as you have said..."
2. Mary was brave, her decision to follow God could have been very costly and dangerous.
It was a brave decision to be willing to carry the baby Jesus when she was not married
She could well have been stoned to death for being an unmarried mother – according to Jewish Law.
But Mary had the right perspective: She trusted God – He would look after her; she knew nothing was impossible for her God.
If God had said it, Mary knew that it would happen, even if she didn’t really understand how.