By now, everyone in the country knows that today is Mother’s Day. There have been all kinds of celebrations – from the giving of cards to gifts to meals to family gatherings. On Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, there have been many thousands of photos of moms and their children of all ages.
In our family, we celebrated by having our local children and grandchildren here for the first barbecue of the season. The weather outside was rainy and somewhat cold, but inside things were terrific. The men cooked the meal, did the dishes and generally took care of the event.
There are many ways of taking care of our mothers. Sometimes, as in our case, it is as simple as cooking a meal and doing the dishes. Other times, it is helping to assist with their care or doing the yard work – or taking them shopping. There are all kinds or ways that we care for or help our mothers.
It should come as no surprise that Jesus was concerned about His mother and it was one of the themes we find discussed at the foot of the cross during the crucifixion of Jesus. As Jesus hung from the cross, in front of witnesses including Mary, His mother, Jesus engaged in a short dialogue with His disciple, John, and His mother. Jesus, in a very tender moment, turned over the care of His mother to John, who would later become the pastor at the church at Ephesus. In fact, John would take Mary with him to Ephesus and it is presumed that she lived out her days a short walk from the church that was built in this area that is now part of Turkey.
Janet and I have actually been to Ephesus and have seen the ruins of the church, the baptismal and the home that was supposedly occupied by Mary. It is presumed that Joseph had died years before the crucifixion and, therefore, for Jesus as Mary’s firstborn Son, it was His responsibility to provide for her care after His death – death on a cross. And even though He would return at the resurrection, it was also clear that Jesus would ascend to the Father and no longer reside on the earth – rather, in heaven.
Our verse for this evening is the short comment made at the cross as Jesus was turning over the care of His mother to John. The disciple who Jesus loved tells us, in John 19:26-27, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved 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.”
My encouragement tonight is that mothers are a special gift – even more so, in most cases, than fathers. Jesus showed us how important it is to take care of those who brought us into the world. My prayer is that we will all be aware of taking care of those special women who gave us life, nurtured us as we grew and have provided us with unconditional love. To those of you who bring so much joy to our lives, Happy Mother’s Day – have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…