Summary: How many mothers here would gladly trade their concern for a child that they think is lost for an acknowledgment from that child that they have found God in their lives?

Mothers Day 2009

Luke 1:41-52

When my daughter was a little girl she used to want me to read to her at every opportunity. One of her favorite little books was called - Are you My Mother?

It was written by P.D. Eastman and published in 1960 by Random House. Some of you may own a copy of this charming little book.

Summary of Plot from Wikipedia:

It is the story about a mother bird who knows her egg will be in her nest where she left it, so she leaves him alone to go and get something for him to eat. The baby bird hatches. He does not understand where his mother is so he goes to look for her. In his search, he asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a cow if they are his mother. They each say, No.

Then he sees an old car, which ca not be his mother for sure. In desperation, the hatch-ling calls out to a boat and a plane, and at last, convinced he has found his mother, he climbs onto the teeth of an enormous power shovel. But he is betrayed by the behemoth (snort), as it shudders and grinds into motion. He can’t escape. I want my mother! he shouts.

But at this climactic moment, his fate is suddenly reversed. The shovel drops him back in his nest, just as his mother is returning home, and the two are reunited, much to their delight. He then tells her about the adventure he had looking for her.

Phillip Dey Eastman is probably more famous for his little childrens books than for his other contributions.

From 1936 to 1941, Eastman worked at the story department of Walt Disney Productions. From 1941 to 1943 he worked at the story department of Warner Bros. Cartoons. From 1945 to 1952 he worked in the story department of United Productions of America. He contributed to the Private Snafu World War II training films and gave us the animation we know as Mr. Magoo.

Philip Dey Eastman (USA, 1909-1986) author, illustrator, and filmmaker, worked so closely with Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) that he is sometimes mistaken for him.

In Mr. Eastmans book we have a mother bird that is unaware that her baby has left the nest because she is busy doing motherly things. The baby bird goes off to have one adventure after the other and some seem dangerous but the baby bird is oblivious to the dangers of the world around him.

This little story put Mothers Day into perspective for me as I related it to the scripture where Jesus is left behind when the family had visited Jerusalem. Both Joseph and Mary thought Jesus was with the company of family members but not so.

Mothers carry a special burden for their children. We call it a maternal instinct as a child I called it a sixth sense. Mothers seem to know intuitively when their children are in trouble or dealing with a trial be it emotional, academic, or spiritual. Moms just seem to know what we are thinking.

But in the scripture passage today we find that Mary is astonished at what she finds Jesus doing. I also find it interesting to see that it is Mary and not Joseph who is admonishing Jesus for wondering off. Moms have a way of disciplining in love that really gets to our hearts.

It is Jesus answer to Marys questions that causes Mary to realize her little boy is indeed the special little boy that God promised he would be. She explains how anxious they all were as they looked for the missing Jesus. Jesus in reply told her plainly 49 Why were you searching for me? he asked. Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?

Just like P.D. Eastmans story of the little bird that wondered off Jesus wondered off but for a very different reason. Jesus had come to realize who he was and where he needed to be. Mary treasured this in her heart as she realized that Jesus had reached an age when he no longer relied on his earthly parents but would follow the path his Heavenly Father had laid out for him.

How many mothers here are like Mary? How many mothers here would gladly trade their concern for a child that they think is lost for an acknowledgment from that child that they have found God in their lives?

Is this not one of the greatest accomplishments of a mother to lovingly care and raise their child to know the Lord?

That is better than any lead role in an elementary school play or sports trophy they could win. That is better than any academic achievement or scholarship that they could earn. It is even better than seeing your child marry that special someone in their lives.

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