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Mother’s Day

Isaiah 66:13

 

“As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you, and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (HCSB)

 This verse is undoubtedly the greatest compliment Mothers could receive.  When God wanted to use a metaphor to explain the compassion He has for His people, He compared Himself to Mothers.  Mothering and comforting are synonymous.   I don’t want you to get the impression that the Bible takes a “Greeting Card” approach to motherhood.  It doesn’t.  The Bible is a raw, gritty record of the full spectrum of human nature, from depravity to selfless virtue.  In the pages of this great book we encounter women who protected their children from harm right alongside of those who harmed their children.  It shows women who want children, but couldn’t have them and children who had them, but didn’t care for them, as they should have. We meet virtuous women and scandalous ones.  Yet, given those extremes, God chose motherhood as a metaphor for His love and care for His people.

 For some, Mother’s Day is a day of great celebration, for others, it is a painful day of regret and loss.  Nevertheless, for all, it is a day worthy of reflection and resolve.   It is a day that reminds us to show appreciation to those who don’t always feel appreciated for what they do. 

 Recently, twelve social science researches who formed the Mother’s Council and Motherhood Project surveyed over 2000 mothers who had children under the age of 18 and discovered that they derive satisfaction from being a mother but most of them don’t feel appreciated for what they do.

 They found that mothers downplayed the “stress and strain” of motherhood, and 97% of the women surveyed said they were “’very’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied” with issues related to be a mother.  Ninety-three percent said, “The love they feel for their children is unlike any love they’ve ever experienced.” and 81% consider motherhood as “the most important thing they do.”

 Even with this personal satisfaction, only 48% said they feel appreciated “most or all of the time.”

(http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

 The desire to show mothers appreciation sparked the genesis of Mother’s Day.  Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia brought about the official observance of Mother's Day. Her campaign to establish such a holiday began as a remembrance of her mother, who died in 1905 and who had, in the late 19th century, tried to establish "Mother's Friendship Days" as a way to heal the scars of the Civil War. 

 Two years after her mother died, Jarvis held a ceremony in Grafton, West Virginia to honor her. The proceedings moved her and she began a massive campaign to adopt a formal holiday honoring mothers. In 1910, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother's Day. A year later, nearly every state officially marked the day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother's Day as a national holiday for the second Sunday of May.

 However, Jarvis' accomplishment soon turned bitter for her. Enraged by the commercialization of the holiday, she filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother's Day festival and officials arrested her for disturbing the peace at a war mothers' convention where women sold white carnations -- Jarvis' symbol for mothers -- to raise money. "This is not what I intended," Jarvis said. "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit!"

 While I’m sure most mothers appreciate the flowers, cards and other gifts they get on Mother’s Day, I’m also sure there are other things they want to.  For instance, they want their children to show RESPECT.  A Chinese proverb says, “Respect for ones parents is the highest duty of civil life.”  Common decency demands that we respect our parents, and so does the Bible. Leviticus 19:3 says, “Each of you must show respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest, for I, the Lord, am your God.”  (NLT)  Just as God wants His children to observe His Sabbath rests, he wants them to show respect for their parents.

 Your mother wants your AFFECTION too.  One of my favorite examples of affection in the Bible is in 1 Kings 19:20.  Elijah had just invited Elisha to join him in his work.  This invitation amounted to an apprenticeship that would lead to Elisha replacing Elijah at the appropriate time.  Let me read the verse to you, “Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, ‘First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!’  Elijah replied, ‘Go on back! But consider what I have done to you.’” (NLT)  Elisha was happy to go, but first he wanted to kiss his parents goodbye.  He wasn’t in such a hurry to get on with the rest of his life that he couldn’t show his mother some affection.

 Your mother also wants to know that you LEARNED the things she tried to teach you. Proverbs 1:8 says, “Listen, my child, to what your father teaches you. Don't neglect your mother's teaching.” (NLT)  From basic things like “Wash behind your ears” and “eat your vegetables” to more important things like “Always tell the truth,” and “Say your prayers,” our mothers want to know that we’ve learned the lessons they’ve taught us.

 Your mother wants you to be WISE.  Proverbs 10:1 says, “A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.”   (NLT)  Sam Levenson said, “It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite.” 

 Your mother wants you to show GRATITUDE.  Proverbs 30:11 “Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.”  (NLT)  Deep down in our hearts, we know our mothers deserve our gratitude.  A national survey taken for a flower delivery company suggests that 50 percent of Americans believe their mother deserves something special on Mother’s Day.  The survey also found that 65 percent of Americans said if they ever won an Academy award, their mother would be the first person they’d thank in their acceptance speech. (www.prnews.com, May 1, 2002)  Since most of us won’t win an Academy award, perhaps we should not wait for an occasion like that to thank our Moms and find other ways to show our gratitude.

 Finally, your mother wants you to be GODLY.   Proverbs 23:24- 25 says, “The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure it is to have wise children. So give your parents joy! May she who gave you birth be happy.”  (NLT)

 Nothing will make your mother happier than knowing that you are following in Jesus’ footsteps. 

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