Summary: The call of motherhood is an overwhelming call. Look at it through the eyes of Elizabeth and Mary.
The Call of Motherhood
* (Video – “A Mother’s Day Moment”) If I were to ask each of us to give a ‘moment’ with mom, many such moments would be funny, some would be highly emotional, and a few would be ‘strained.’ One reason that there could be any strain between a person and their mom (I know there are a lot of reasons for this), is that being a MOTHER is an overwhelming task. It is not for the faint of heart or the weak minded. This is why we love mom!
* A wealthy Texan was in the habit of giving his mom unique gifts on Mother’s Day. One year it was lessons on hang-gliding. the year before that it was the entire record collection of Slim Whitman’s hits. But this past year he felt he had outdone himself. He purchased a rare kind of talking bird that could speak five languages and sing “The Yellow Rose of Texas” while standing on one foot. The talented bird cost ten thousand dollars, but he felt it was worth every penny. This would be a Mother’s Day gift his mom would never forget.
A week after Mother’s Day he called his mother. “Mom, how did you like the bird?” His Mother responded, “It was delicious!”
* In the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” one of the most telling scenes was when Jesus interacted with his mother by playing with her and splashing a little water in her face. For me, this was a keen reminder of the love Jesus obviously had for Mary. She was the woman chosen to be HIS MOTHER. Never forget, your mom was divinely chosen to be your mother. Honor her today, because the call of a Mother is a challenging call. Let’s return to our scriptural text.
* Today we have read about 2 moms, the mother of John and of Jesus. They go by the name Elizabeth and Mary. Elizabeth had a child after she likely thought, “no more”, while Mary had a child when she thought “no way.” Both women were called to become mothers. I submit that being a mother is a challenging call, a serious call, and a divine call. While this call is Biblically seen for Moms, it also applies to every person. God’s call for character and service knows no boundaries. Consider 3 parts of this call.
1. To Be Commendable – Both Mary and Elizabeth found ‘favor with God’. Have you ever given any real thought to what this might mean? Women in that day, as we all know, had no social status. Candidly under the legal system of that day a woman could be ‘put aside’ (that means ‘divorced’) for something as simple as ‘burning the dinner.’ In other words, women were good for cleaning the house, having babies, and taking care of the kids. They were really considered unworthy, unrecognized, and in large measure unneeded for anything other than to serve their men. I submit that it would be very easy for a woman of that day to simply ‘do what was required’, emote a ‘whatever’ type of attitude, and not care about her character.
* Because of the position of the women in that day, the work force had very few females in it. Quite frankly, if a man decided to divorce his wife, the obvious and option open to her for employment was prostitution.
* Yet even in this climate, both Mary and Elizabeth rose above the culture and determined to live their lives in a manner that was found to be both worthy & commendable before God. Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, these moms (like most) find a way to walk worthy and even commendable in the eyes of God.
* A three-year-old girl told her mother she learned that Jesus will come to live in the heart of those who invite him. That is a difficult concept for a little girl to grasp. The mother was sitting on the couch and her three-year-old came over and put her ear to her mother's chest. "What are you doing?" asked the mother. "I'm listening for Jesus in your heart," replied the child. The mother let the little girl listen for a few seconds and then asked, "Well, what do you hear?" "He's there," replied the little girl, "and it sounds to me like he's making coffee."
* The interesting thing is that the 3 year old had not doubt Jesus was in her mom’s heart.
2. To Be Challenged – You and I may not have ever seen this, but can you imagine the challenge facing these two ladies? Consider Elizabeth who was ‘well along in years’ and didn’t have the experience of pregnancy or raising a child. She was going to be challenged physically, emotionally, and even relationally. After she conceived, she remained in seclusion (hidden) for 5 month until it became apparent. Many believe that Mary was the first person to know about the baby. Can you imagine the challenge of ‘not telling’ because of her age and inability to bear children? On the other hand, Mary probably didn’t WANT to tell. Quite likely, she was in her early teen years, was unmarried, and knew that no one would believe this incredible story of an angel, a message, and a divine child. May I suggest that all of these challenges do not even touch the challenge of raising a child? It is true that both of the mother’s knew that their boy was sent by God and that God has special plans for them, but can you imagine what it must have felt like to raise a child with such pre-determined expectations? These two women were raising the “Messenger and the Messiah!” What a challenge! Is there any mother here who knows that being a mother is a challenge?