Saturday Sermon: Honoring mothers, the Christian home
By Jay Brown
Sunday will be celebrated as Mother's Day by most people. In my denomination, we observe Mother's Day and include a wider parameter known as the Festival of the Christian Home. While I want to give my Mom her due (and she is due a lot for raising me and my sister and brother), I like the idea of celebrating the wonder and holiness of the whole family.
In John's gospel, Jesus tells us that the world will know us as his disciples by the love that we show each other. I believe that the family is a perfect example of God's love. The struggles, the trials, the opportunities to live and learn to love one another find their expression in the way families relate to each other.
This past week gave my family a vivid illustration of how the complexities and nuances of inter-personal relationship are made manifest in the family during a time of crisis. My 86-year-old Dad was rushed to a local hospital with what was diagnosed as a ruptured appendix. The appendix was spewing toxins and poisons into his system, causing his body to become septic; a dire condition at any age.
We gathered over time and space to come together as our particular place in the family of God to pray and comfort and support my Mom and Dad and each other ... and, praise God, it worked. After a weekend in the intensive care unit and a couple of days in the regular unit of the hospital, Dad came home in time for Mother's Day . and the Festival of the Christian Home. And, believe me, we will certainly celebrate and be festive!
You know, Mom and Dad come from what some call the "greatest generation." They are both certainly the greatest in my book. Both taught me and my siblings values that have served us all well; values like sacrifice, integrity, honor, respect, and love for God, country, family and all persons.
I turn 60 later this month; I never would have made it (nor would my sister and brother) without the love and sacrifices Mom and Dad made out of their love for each other and for us.
I thank God for my Mom on this Mother's Day, and I celebrate the family that I had the good grace to be born into, warts and all. Thanks Mom, Dad, Jan and James, all the spouses and spices, in-laws and outlaws. I am thinking of you all today and I honor the One who created us and named us before we were ever born. Let this be a day of celebration and gladness, wherever we are. I love you all very much.
And to those who are reading this; forgive me if it seems too personal or mushy or out of place. I hope that you, too, will celebrate your life and your love of your family today. Our parents gave us the gift of life; let's go do some living today. Amen.
Jay Brown pastors the United Methodist Church in Shiner, Yoakum and Hope.