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May 2015 - Honoring our Mother

Honoring our Mother

The month of May is one that includes a day when we as a nation honor our mothers.  Truly it is good and worthy to honor mothers, for God has given them a high calling in this world -- they who participate in giving life and who nurture and raise their children in the ways and love of the Lord.  Nothing is more important in the world than that responsibility, and so it is good for us to give thanks and honor to our mothers.

But as I reflected upon that, it occurred to me that we could actually take the time to also honor another mother of ours, so to speak, the Church. 

     I know that may sound strange, but think about it.  The Church, the Body of Christ is often referred to in Scripture as the Bride of Christ.  And it is through this Bride that Christ has given birth to us, the believers.  Do you remember from your catechism where the church is to be found?  It is where the Means of Grace are found, the Word and the Sacraments.  Where the Gospel of Christ is found and proclaimed and offered in Word and Sacrament, that is where believers are found and new believers are made, or more accurately are born again (and nurtured).  It is through the means of Grace, the Word and Sacraments that God the Father creates new believers, gives new birth to His Children.  And since those means of Grace are found in the Church, in that sense the church could be considered our mother.  For through her, through the means of Grace, God gives us new birth.

And there are some wonderful parallels with this: Just as we had nothing to do with our birth into this world, so too did we have nothing to do with our rebirth in Christ!  We by nature are fallen and completely spiritually dead and can do nothing make ourselves come alive spiritually.  Thinking of and being thankful of how our mothers gave us birth, and we had nothing to do with it, we can be reminded to also give honor and thanks to God the Father that He brought us to rebirth through the means of grace in our spiritual “mother” the church.

Mothers also nurture and protect us. (NOT an easy job.  As Barbara Johnson put it: “If it was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called labor.”)  Similarly, our church “mother” also provides a place of protection, guidance and nurturing for us.  Here we gather around the Means of Grace and the real presence of our Lord where He can build up and strengthen our faith to be able to withstand the assaults of the enemy (satan, world, flesh) around us, as well as receive instruction from the Word to know how to respond to the Love of our Lord with a God-pleasing life.

How do we then respond to such gifts and love?  With just A “Mother’s Day”, a flower or gift on this one day, maybe a phone call, maybe even a visit?

Ought not every day be Mother’s Day in the lives of all Christian-minded men and women?  How undeserving and ungrateful children are they who would honor their mothers with tributes of flowers or other gifts on one day and by their misconduct disgrace or dishonor her on other days of the year!  I would imagine Christian mothers would more gladly be honored by affectionate love and respect in their homes every day than to be placed on a lofty pedestal of praise and adoration once a year. (Though such adoration and praise wouldn’t hurt on occasion as well!)

Just out of sheer appreciation for the blessings that God has given us here (new life in Baptism, the Word proclaimed through which He sustains and nurtures our faith), in thanksgiving and need for those alone should we keep coming here, and not just on special occasions.  Indeed, we must come here, not only because our Father has commanded it, but because of the continual blessings and nurturing and strength and care we receive here in our “mother’s” arms of Word and Sacrament. 

     And, just as it is a good and loving thing to do a few chores and projects around our mother’s house, so too is it a good and loving thing to tend to some of the needs here in our congregation.  VBS is coming up – there have been and will be requests for help – answer them and join in that loving service of the lambs of God.  There are requests for offices to be filled – answer and fill them!

     Our congregation always welcomes Sunday School teachers.  We have been blessed with wonderful teachers, but it is good to have more to give some breaks – especially with the summer months ahead. 

     Take some time and see what “projects” or chores you might wish to help on – for the mutual care and love of your brothers and sisters in Christ, all in response to the love first shown to you by your God through this congregation. 

     As we use this time of the year to show our deep appreciation and love of our mothers, and to continue to do so every day, let us also use this as an occasion to show our love for our spiritual “mother”, the Bride of Christ, the Church, and all that God our Father works through her on our behalf!


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