Like a mother and her child – Mothers Day 2015

Mothers Day Interview at Gateway Community Church

Mothers Day Interview at Gateway Community Church

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, so we left the DEEP series and focussed ministry and teaching around the mother’s day theme.

A few week’s ago I thought it would be good to focus on the idea that a mother’s love for her children opens our eyes to God’s love for his children. In fact, what we learn about God’s love in parenthood is so unique and profound it probably cannot be learned in any other way.

So, a mother’s love teaches us much about God’s love. There were three elements to how we explored this on Sunday

First up, we viewed a brief clip from The Skit Guys which established the basic premise. This clip was an absolute gift, and considering it was not available when I first started planning, it was just brilliant that it suited the theme so well.

Moms – Portraits of God

Next, I interviewed three mothers, stating with the idea that their own feelings of love for their children, their desire to comfort and protect them, reflected God’s own love. Willy Pike is a grandmother and Head of Primary at Rehoboth Christian College, Kenwick. Kylie VanderZee is mother to Aidan, who is just a little over one year old. Stephanie Hondema is a young mum of Nora (2) and Boaz (1). The video of the interview can be dowloaded here.

Finally, I drew the thoughts together and concluded with a short sermon, the edited text reproduced below.

Like a mother with her children…

Psalm 103:13, Isaiah 66:13

As we think about our mothers, some of us will be thinking of childhood memories. Experiences. Adventures. Celebrations. Holidays. But some memories stand above them all, and they are when we remember our mother’s character. Her love, her commitment, that she was always there, words she spoke into our lives, time she held us in times of sadness. When it comes to memories, character wins every time.

So, what is a Godly mother’s character? One that reflects God’s loving nature.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” (Psalm 103:13, NIV)

The word for compassion speaks of a deep inner love from a superior to an inferior. In Isaiah 66 God speaks of himself as a mother:

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”” (Isaiah 66:13, NIV)

The word ‘comfort’ coveys a sense of consolation. It pictures a mother holding her child close, rocking back and forth, breathing deeply, and whispering sweet, soft comfort into the ear of her child. Which mother hasn’t done this when a little one falls, or when a favourite toy breaks, or a pet dies.

Can you see what’s happening? The writers imagine moving scenes of warmth and closeness, a profound relational connection where comfort and compassion is more embodied than spoken. And they are saying, these feelings we have for our children are just like feelings God has for us. God’s feelings of compassion. God’s desire to comfort his children. And God has valued the thoughts of the writers, those word pictures, so much that thousands of years ago he recorded them in his word. He did so in order that mothers today might read and be encouraged to believe that when they love their children, when they forgive, when they comfort, when they support their children in times of trouble, they are actually like God. Such feelings can teach us things about God’s love which we never would have learned by other means.

Now, the terrific thing is, God does not just reveal these things and say “Mums, lift yer game.” He actually enables and empowers mothers to develop a godly mother’s character. As Paul writes to the Colossians Christians he says

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6–7, NIV)

A mother’s capacity to reflect godly compassion and love comes because she is in relationship with Christ Jesus. It’s not just a matter of imitation, of copying an attitude. Christ transforms us, and through his Spirit refashions our values, our attitudes, so that Christ’s life flows into ours and through ours.

Paul goes on to say those who are in Christ have a change of mindset:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1–3, NIV)

Through Jesus Christ a mother is enabled to live and love in a new way:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12, NIV)

Mums: here’s the thing: If you want to overflow with a godly mother’s character, if you want to embody God’s compassion, if you want to comfort your family as God has comforted us, you need to be in relationship with Jesus.

See, not only does a mother’s love and compassion say much about God’s love and compassion, it’s also true that through her own godly motherhood, she will reveal something of God’s grace, his wonderful love, his free forgiveness, and his glorious faithfulness to her children.

Could there be a higher calling? Than being a mother who reveals God? His protection, comfort and compassion. The reality is there’s nothing ordinary about being a mum. Mothers have a glorious calling. Because of Jesus, any mother can pray and ask him to pour his love more and more into their lives. They can ask his spirit to continue the work of change and transformation, so that with each day, they are drawn more into Jesus, reflecting his grace, love and compassion.

Mothers: you are not alone. You’re not without power. The Jesus who is with you through his Holy Spirit always promises to reveal his love, comfort and compassion to the world through you and through your love.

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