Sunday, May 08, 2011

One Mother's Emotions

One Mother's Emotions

Intro.: I was listening to the radio late last night and heard a job description for a mother. I thought it was so accurate, I wanted to share it with you and went looking for a written copy and found it.


Trans:I spent time this week thinking about the mothers we see in scriptures.

  1. I could not think of one that had it “easy”

  2. From Eve (Adam's wife) – whose sons fought

  3. To Sarah (Abraham's wife) – whose sons fought

  4. Or even Mary (Jesus' mother)

T.S. In the next few moments I want to look at four snapshots of the most famous mother in scripture. I want to look at four snapshots of Mary as she interacted with the life of Jesus.

  1. The first snapshot is of a young woman expecting her first child.

    1. I expect that if we were to look at this snapshot we would see a young woman that is scared, uncertain, impatient, and with lots of questions.

    2. Probably would not surprise us – these emotions might be common to any woman that is expecting her first child.

    3. But they would also not surprise us because here is a single mother – her fiance is supportive, but she well knows the possibilities that her future could hold. None of us would be surprised to see a woman that is scared, uncertain, impatient, and with lots of questions about her future. After all, nobody can predict the future.

    4. She hadnd the emotions of any mother, she had the emotions any single mother might have, but Mary had emotions only she could feel – emotions that could only be felt by the mother of the Son of God. Would any of be surprised if this young woman would feel a bit of fear, a bit of uncertainty, a bit of impatience, have lots of questions about her future and the future of her son?

    5. Though she knew the answer, I cannot help but wonder if not in the midst of month 7 of her pregnancy she might silently have asked herself, “Why me, God, why me?”

    6. I suspect that if you look closely at this snapshot, you may see some tears – but you may also see a smile. The birth of a child is an amazing thing – whether it is our own or that of a daughter or a friend or whoever's – it is truly a miracle. And for Mary it is far more a miracle than it has ever been for any other mother. She is the mother of the Son of God.

  2. The second snapshot finds Mary at a wedding party.

    1. Mary had been invited – so had Jesus and His disciples.

    2. Jesus was just beginning his public ministry – in fact, at this point he had not yet performed any miracles.

    3. But he would this day –

    4. I don't know how much Mary understood about Jesus – but she knew enough to have the host turn to him for help when the days beverage had run out.

    5. Mary had faith – not in what she had seen, but what she understood about her son.

    6. It is sometimes hard for me to say, “Trust God”

(Ill.) Those of you who have walked with Sandra and I over the last few months will remember that we have regularly had to fall back on a triad of questions that we need to ask each other when it seems like the going gets tough.

1. Who do you have to trust? - God

2. What do you have to do? - The best I can

3. What else do you need to do? - Nothing

And when we get to that last point, we sense, we see, a very real release of tension as we look toward the future.

    1. And, some how, that is where Mary had learned to live – she had learned that she could trust this Son of hers to carry her, to carry us all, through the difficult times.

    2. This snapshot shows us that Mary has relaxed at the very point that most of us would panic – there is a crowd and they are running out of refreshments. They had not purchased enough. But Mary knew one thing – they could, they must, trust Jesus.

    3. And on that day, Jesus completed his first miracle – as he turned water into wine. Mary had faith that day – and because of the miracle, the scriptures tell us, His disciples also started to believe in Him.

  1. The next snapshot is taken three years later on a dark Friday around noon time.

    1. Mary and many of Jesus' friends are standing around a small hill just outside of Jerusalem. A hill called Golgotha.

    2. On that hill are three crosses – two thieves are being executed – and then, there in the middle, is Mary's son, Jesus.

    3. Three years ago Mary was excited and willing to trust her son to solve even the most unimportant problems. She had faith in Him. Now He hangs on a cross.

    4. I have heard some of you talk about the pain you have felt as you have seen your own children struggle – can your imagine the pain that was felt by Mary as she saw her son hang on the cross. She could not imagine him having hurt, having harmed anybody. And, of course, as we have come to know Jesus, we know that is very true. Her pain must have been worse than what we feel when we see our own children fail – we know are children are imperfect. But Mary, whether she knew it or not, certainly had not evidence that he was capable of a crime worthy of capital punishment – yet there he hung. Between two thieves.

    5. This snapshot shows a mother whose heart is broken with sadness at the death, at the murder, of her son.

  2. Our final snapshot was taken three days later.

    1. We have seen a young woman who may have been freightened as she considered having her first child. We have seen a mother who has come to appreciate her son – a mother who has learned to trust her son. And we saw mother whose heart was broken as her son was executed like and with common criminals on that Friday three days earlier.

    2. But now, the sabbath is past and she and two of her and Jesus' friends have gone out to pay their respects at the grave one more time.

    3. But something is amiss when they arrive – not only is the stone rolled away, but the tomb is empty. But then something truly remarkable happens. Listen as Luke describes those events:

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

    1. I can't help but wonder how Mary responded to this news. A few days earlier she watched her executed son hang on a cross – and now she hears that He has risen – the resurrection has occurred.

    2. She has moved from sadness to joy, from desperation to celebration.

Conclusion: Mothers come with all kinds of emotions.

  1. We all come with all kinds of emotions.

  2. Sometimes we want to hide from our emotions – but they are part of what make us human.

  3. My prayer is that each of you, each of us, will be able to play the role that God has given to us.