5/11/2013

Mother's Day sermon based on John 19:26-27

Mother's Day is the one day of the year that we recognize and give thanks for the mothers among us who make our lives what they are. Today we celebrate the mothers who have loved us, nurtured us and cared for us, whether they are our biological mothers, adopted or acted as surrogate mothers in the place of our own. As we celebrate the mothers that we are or will be.

Me and my girls
This passage of John 19:26-27 speaks about mothers on very different levels. The first and most obvious is that in this passage, Jesus is taking care of the physical, earthly needs of his own mother. He is also giving John a mother to love and care for. From this point on, he is to be Mary's son and she is to be John's mother. It is task that John accepts for the rest of Mary's life.

This speaks to me because it speaks of a mother – child relationship on several levels. Some of us grew up with mothers that we love and would want to see cared for as Jesus did with Mary. Those with nurturing, loving mothers have much to be grateful for. They are are gifts to be treasured.

These are women who carried us home from the hospital and loved us despite our 3:00 a.m. hunger pangs, homework and were there for us through the heartbreak of our first young relationship. We are grateful for moms who taught us life skills and who loved us enough to discipline us. These are mothers to be cherished.

However; not all of us are so fortunate. Some of us grew up with mothers who were absent either in presence or emotionally. During this time period it was expected that a son would care for and provide for his mother in her old age. It is interesting that we don't hear anything about John's mother mentioned in the Gospels.

We do not know if she died an early age or if she had a relationship with John at all. What we do know is that she is not mentioned as the other women who were there. This may indicate a mother who was either emotionally or physically distant from her child or one who passed away. It is a passage that gives encouragement to those who had unhealthy relationship. John's life is an example that through God you can be blessed and a blessing to others.

The relationship between John and Mary is also an adoptive relationship. Jesus called upon John to take care of Mary, to adopt her into his home. He accepted and Mary did as well. We know this because John took her into his home for the rest of her life.

The love between adopted children and parents is often as strong (and sometimes stronger) than that of biological families. This too, is a gift to be celebrated.

This passage also speaks of women who do not have their own children. By living in John's home, Mary was agreeing to nurture any children that he may have. This is no small thing.

How many times have we been influenced by women chose to nurture and care for us in the place of their own children? I know many who have taught school, led Sunday School classes and worked in advocacy centers because they care about the lives of children. Surrogate mothers like these are to be celebrated.

This passage from John also speaks to women who have suffered a loss. Indeed, this was the case for Mary after Jesus perished on the cross. Nothing can replace the loss of a child. However; we know that through Jesus we have the hope of seeing our child again in the heavenly beyond.

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