As the world prepared for Mother’s Day celebrations, I prepared a short sermon while reflecting on the meaning of motherhood as I perceive it. I thought about my own mother, and those thoughts took me to my childhood. I remember my mother being there through the good and the bad, a constant presence that gave me peace. Everything I have to say about my mother is probably very similar to what you would say about yours. Then my thoughts turned to my wife, a mother to three boys. Her job and performance as a mother are nothing short of remarkable, amazing, and lovely. Through her, I have a new and enhanced perception of motherhood and what it means.
The impact a loving mother has for her child can create ripple effects that leave a mark on the most distant horizons. We can write book after book about people who were inspired by their mothers to do something good in the world, but I am astounded by the story of a mother in Matthew 15. You’ll find her in verses 21-28, but you won’t learn much about her personally. In fact, we don’t even know her name. But we do know one thing – probably the most important thing - that in her one brief encounter with Jesus, He said four very significant words: “…great is your faith!” (v.28, ESV).
Jesus never uttered those words to or about any of His disciples. Matthew 15 tells us a story of a mother who had a sick child – a mother who was so desperate she was willing to overcome any obstacle to reach the healer and the giver of life, Jesus. This is the story of a mother whose outward persistence was a reflection of her inner faith. Jesus recognized what was in her heart, and her daughter was healed of her affliction.
A loving mother full of faith will leave a lasting mark on her family. She will bring healing into her home. Most importantly, she will be a beacon of light of the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts and minds of her children and the generations to follow.
While the world glorifies people, we continue to glorify Christ as we see how all things point to Jesus. We are thankful to Him for showing us yet another glimpse – another perspective – of His love made manifest in our lives in the form of loving, faithful mothers that showed us the way. Those of us who have the privilege of having had such a mom are blessed. Those of us who have not, can find both mother and father, and most importantly, the Savior, in Jesus Christ. Through Him we are all blessed with life and made complete for this life and the next.
“O, woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” –Jesus (Matthew 15:28, ESV)
Executive Pastor, Bridge Church
The week after Easter follows the single greatest event in the history of humanity – the fulfillment of numerous prophesies in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for the redemption of mankind so that, “whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV). This event became a holy occasion to remember that withstands time and borders, having changed the course of history forever. Faith in Jesus has changed the lives of people all over the world and their faith has impacted cultures and societies.
It’s easy, then, to follow this week of self-reflection and remembrance with the norm – “back to the grind.” This is not what Christ intended. He never asked us for one day, one occasion, or a national holiday of remembrance, but to “be faithful unto death,” (Revelations 2:10 ESV). Romans 10:17 says, “faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ,” which is written for no small reason. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” and offers a clue as to how we are to live our lives. We should not remember Jesus for a day, or a week; but every day, in His word, growing and feeding and becoming more and more like Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Let us begin the first day of the rest of the year with a resolve to become the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15) with a renewed devotion to The One who saves – Jesus.
Executive Pastor, Bridge Church