“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
May 14, 2017
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Joseph and Tammy Tkach
I was thinking about Mother’s Day recently—trying to come up with ideas to make it special for my mother and my wife. I recalled with joy (and some nostalgia) when Tammy first became a mother. That got me thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Though motherhood is the most significant, demanding and underpaid profession around, I don’t think it gets the respect it deserves. It seems natural to me that children would honor, love and respect their mothers, yet that is not always what happens. The Old Testament is full of commands that children are to respect their mothers (and fathers)—including in the Ten Commandments and multiple places in the book of Proverbs. How sad that we would need to be told to love, honor and respect the woman who gave us life!
Be It Unto Me by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with permission)
Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a remarkable woman—she literally held Jesus in the fabric of her being! Though references in the Bible to Mary are too sparse to construct a detailed biography, the Gospels record her humility and obedience to God as an example for all time. The earliest reference (chronologically) to Mary in the New Testament is Paul’s statement in Galatians 4:4 that the Son of God was “born of a woman.” The first mention of Mary’s name is in Luke 1:26, in the story of the angel Gabriel advising her of the miraculous birth that would occur. The last mention is in Acts 1:14 where Mary is included among those devoting themselves to prayer following Jesus’ ascension.
Jesus had an exceptionally high regard for all women. The Gospels show him visiting their homes, forgiving their sins, caring for those who had been widowed, and healing women of all kinds of ailments. And, of course, he showed great love, concern and respect for Mary, his mother. It is highly noteworthy that just before drawing his last breath on the cross, Jesus arranged for Mary’s care: When Jesus saw his mother there [at the foot of the cross], and the disciple whom he loved [John] standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26)
As Irenaeus notes, there is an interesting parallel and contrast between Mary and Eve. Just as all humanity was estranged from God due to Eve’s disobedience (along with that of Adam), so too, all humanity is reconciled back to God by the saving acts of Mary’s son, Jesus Christ. Though Mary is not a co-redeemer with Jesus, she should be highly honored for her trust, faith and obedience, which is in marked contrast to Eve’s disobedience. Not only was Mary our Lord’s mother—she was also his first (and highly loyal) disciple!
Note this from Karl Barth concerning Jesus’ nativity:
[Having been] conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary… the God of free grace became man, a real man. The eternal Word became flesh. This is the miracle of Jesus Christ’s existence, this descent of God from above downwards—[by] the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary. (Dogmatics in Outline, p. 96)
In his humanity, Jesus was without a biological father. In his divinity, Jesus was without a divine mother. Yet, in assuming our human nature through his mother Mary, the human race belongs to Jesus through his saving acts as its Lord and Savior. Because of who Jesus is and what he has done for us and our redemption, all creation has been elevated to a higher plane of existence, and that includes motherhood itself. By the Holy Spirit, Jesus was not only born of the virgin Mary, he was also Mary’s Savior and Sanctifier. By God’s grace, through Mary, motherhood became a witness pointing to Jesus Christ the Creator and Redeemer and to the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life.
I pray that all of us, as disciples of Jesus, will follow our Lord’s example in giving honor to all women, including those who are mothers. Let us give special honor, love, and respect to our own mothers and the mothers of our children on Mother’s Day and every day. To all the mothers reading this, I extend a heartfelt “thank you.”
Thankful for motherhood,
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
Happy Mother’s Day to all our ladies! You are loved, valued and appreciated so very much. Without Moms where would we be? We wouldn’t be! Jonnie and I are having a special Mother’s Day weekend as Jonnie’s sister and her husband are here from Oregon, and my mom and sister are coming over from Champaign. Both moms and their children and spouses together to celebrate Mother’s Day!
Here are some insightful quotes from Facebook for you to ponder and appreciate:
Mario Andrade – If “God is love,” then the sovereignty of God is not about a frustrated, discouraged god who throws up his hands, gives up and walks out in disgust on his unfinished work. It’s about a highly motivated God who tenaciously and patiently rolls up His sleeves enters into our mess and finishes the work for us!
Jeff Chandler – THE REALITY of LOVE: Do not live outside the reality of love. If love is not the driving force in a person’s life, that person’s life will never be satisfying. They will always be searching. The reality is that we were created out of love – God is LOVE and He created us to love and to be loved. If ALL our actions were driven in acts of love – what a wonderful place this would be.
Don Keathley – RETHINK PRAYER! God is involved with our lives and is ALWAYS giving us what we need. He knows what’s going on. Don’t pray as though he doesn’t.
Jeff Chandler – STOP MAKING PRAYER an exercise in trying to convince God how good and worthy your idea and plan is. Prayer is not an appeal to get God to do what you think needs to be done. Make your prayer a 24/7 running conversation with the Father fully aware of His presence and guidance in every decision no matter how small.
I am sure you will be blessed by these as you think on them! You are loved and deeply appreciated – Pastor David