Summary: Mums have one of the toughest ministries that God has given out!
Today is Mothering Sunday, the day when we thank God for giving us the one human being on this earth who generally has had the greatest impact on our lives.
Today we come to Church to give thanks for our mothers – whether or not they are dead or alive.
Story: I heard a story about a missionary who was trying to stir up interest to get people to go to a foreign country to preach the gospel.
At the end of the service a woman, dragging a little boy behind her, told the missionary, "I just feel like God is calling me to be a missionary."
"He is, indeed" replied the missionary - and pointing to the little boy, said:
"And there’s the first little heathen he wants you to preach to."
I would like to focus this morning on one verse
from our second reading, the verse in which St Paul writing to Timothy said this:
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (“ Tim 1:5)
Timothy’s faith was nurtured on his mother’s knee – and probably his grandmother’s knee too.
Mothers have a wonderful opportunity to influence their children, in their early years for good.
They have the opportunity to bring them up to love and to serve God as did Eunice her son Timothy.
Someone once said “Mothers are the glue that holds the family together.”
Question: But can anyone tell me what mothers actually do? What is their job description – to use modern “business speak”
Answer: Mothers are:
2 cooks and cleaners.
3 nurses and doctors,
4 psychologists and counsellors,
5 car drivers and coaches - and
6 even football supporters.
Story: Maddy used to drive Jonny and Chris when they were younger to football in Kandern about 20 miles away, when we were living in Basle, Switzerland.
She came so regularly, that at the end of the season, the Kandern football club presented her with a bottle of wine for being their best supporter!!
Mums are very important.
I like the term the has come into vogue recently: Mums are homemakers.
Because homes need making – they don’t just happen
Story: I heard the story about a little boy - who was sitting on the front steps of his house - with his face buried in his hands.
As he was sitting there his father arrived came home. He asked the little boy what was wrong.
The little boy looked up and said, "Well, just between us, Dad, I’m having trouble getting along with your wife, too!"
The Ministry that mothers are called to is one of the toughest assignments God ever gave anybody!
Someone once said a mother has to be
i) as insightful as a psychologist,
ii) as tough as a marine corps drill instructor,
iii) as gentle as a nurse.
And she’s needs the negotation skills of a negotiator trying to broker an agreement between trade unions and management.
Being a mother requires
i) an endless supply of energy,
ii) a massive amount of patience, and
iii) an iron will, and
iv) the recognition that if she ever gets sick, she’s got to get well before the end of the school day.
600 college students were asked to write down the most beautiful word in the English language and 422 of them wrote the word "mother".
But the one great motherly quality I haven’t mentioned comes from our first reading (in the Old Testament) this morning – self sacrifice.
Mothers have a wonderful capacity for self-sacrifice – putting the good of their children ahead of their own good.
This is wonderfully illustrated in our Old Testament Lesson today - the story of Hannah – the mother of Israel’s first major Prophet called Samuel.
1. The Problem
We see that even the great men and women of God have their problems.
Hannah had a problem and that was that she had no children
In those days, it was a disgrace for a woman to be barren – and not to have a child.
For it was seen as God’s curse on the woman
2. The Jealousy
Elkanah, Hannah’s husband had a second wife Penninah who did have chidren.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Hannah was taunted by Penninah
3. Real Hurt
Hannah suffered a lot over the reproach
Can you remember the nursery rhyme:
Stick and stones might break my bones
But words will never hurt you!
Don’t you believe a word of it! Words can hurt. And Hannah cried a lot over it.
4. The Solution
But Hannah took her problem to the Lord.
She prayed about it – and God heard her prayer.