Sermon Text: Mother's Day in Lockdown
It's hard enough being a mother of young children. To be a mother of young children during a lockdown qualifies these women for sainthood.
It's Mothers' Day, and my heart goes out to all those moms out there who are not only mom, but also teacher and referee. The actress Betty White said this: "It's not easy being a mom. If it were easy, fathers would do it."
And I read an online comment from a mother coping with this lockdown. She said, "My nine-year old ate a bowl of raspberry jam for lunch. I added a scoop of peanut butter to mine, because I am an adult who cares about nutrition."
God bless her, and all moms today. It's not easy being a mother. But we celebrate Mothers' Day, even in lockdown, or maybe especially in lockdown, because most moms never stop loving their kids. Even if those kids are often annoying or challenging. And you know, that's how God loves us. If it's tough to be a mom, it must be about impossible to be God. God's kids are the people of the world. And God's kids are annoying and challenging all the time. But God never gives up.
In the gospel text assigned to this day, the fifth Sunday of Easter, Jesus says, "Don't let your hearts be troubled; don't be afraid. Believe in God, believe also in me."
Now, I had a tough adolescence. No one could have seen that from the outside, because I was a "good kid," and a good student. But it was a very hard time. I didn't think people liked me, and I didn't like myself very much either. But I was lucky that I could always talk to my mom. She couldn't make things better, but she could listen...and she did.
And if Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled, don't be afraid," my mom said things like that, too. She told me that things would get better. It wouldn't always feel this bad. Well, there's a message we need right now, from either Jesus or moms. Things will get better. It won't always feel this bad. My mom was right. And I feel very lucky that at my age, I still have my mom around. I hope you feel lucky in your mom, too, whether she is still around, or if she is in heaven.
My disabled daughter is very, very lucky to have the mom she has. Marie's mom never gave up on her, and never stopped loving her even when she was violent. Marie's mom worked miracles with her, helping a kid with autism and mental challenges connect with the world and with people in ways I thought would never be possible. But Marie's mom will never hear her daughter thank her for all the sacrifices and hard work. I have to say it for Marie.
Don't you miss a chance to tell a mom how great she is, whether she's your mom, or somebody else's mom, or even a woman who is kind of like a mother to you.
Our Christian tradition mostly calls God "Father." But there is a lesser-known strand of our tradition that shows us the feminine face of God. God is compassionate, we are told, and that word in the language of Jesus means "like a womb." To be compassionate is to be like a womb, or womb-ish, or, bluntly, like a mom. So God's love is mother-love as well as fatherly. Always a good thing to remember on Mothers' Day!
There is something about a mother's love which is extraordinarily self-sacrificial. Males can of course love in a sacrificial way, but there is something about motherhood...and I base this on my own observations about the biology and psychology of motherhood. It gives and gives and gives.
My wife has a younger sister, and she has two kids and one grandchild. She once sent us a list. It's worth hearing often. It's called "Things I've Learned from My Children, Honest and No Kidding." Here's the list.
If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing a Superman cape.
But it IS strong enough to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 by 20 foot room.
Baseballs make marks on ceilings.
You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on.
When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times
before you get a hit.
A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
The glass in windows -- even double-paned glass -- will not stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
When you hear the toilet flush and the words, "Uh-oh," it's already too late.
A 6-year old can start a fire with a flint rock, even though a 36-year old man says it only happens in the movies.
If you use a waterbed as home plate while wearing baseball shoes with spikes, it does not leak.
A king-size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000-square foot house 4 inches deep.
You probably do not want to know what that smell is.
Always look in the oven before turning it on.
Plastic toys do not like ovens.
Quiet does not necessarily mean "don't worry."
A good sense of humor will get you through most problems.
Unfortunately, this is mostly true in retrospect.
I believe the mother who wrote this had a lot of experience. And pretty interesting kids.
If God's love for us is like the love of mothers for their children, then there is hope for us.
I wish all moms everywhere a calm and sane Mothers' Day.
And I wish everyone everywhere the blessing of the Motherly love of God the Father.