Today as it is Mothering Sunday I want us to think about Mary the mother of Jesus, now you may be saying isn’t it too early to be talking about Mary as its not Christmas. So often she is only ever spoken about during this season, but there is something about Mary and her life that reveals something of greatness and God’s plan, a plan which I believe He is drawing each and every one of us into.
We can learn so much through her life which can inspire and encourage us. Today as we engage with the word of God we will ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us.
So many times we hear a good point in a sermon and we move on quickly to the next, I want us to slow down the pace a bit today and take brief moments to pause and reflect. The Psalms use the word Selah to describe this action and so we will use Selah moments in our time together today.
Just like Mary let us “ ponder in our hearts’ the words the Lord will speak to us. May we hear his voice today.
“Happy Mothering Sunday to us all!”
“Who here is the child of a mother?” Yes, all of us. Who has cared for children or even pets during our lives? probably most of us!!
We are here to celebrate Mothers and God’s perfect love as our ultimate caregiver. A quote I read said
“You don’t have to be a woman to have mothered, or even given birth. Mothering is about caring and nurturing, so Happy day to anyone who has ever cared and nurtured in the name of love.”
I pray that you will be blessed today. If you don’t hear anything else from my reflection today here these words that “you are loved”, not just by your family and friends, let us remind ourselves of God’s love toward us in 1 John 3:1-2
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! “
We can learn so much about the nature of Gods love for us through the gift of Mothers.
AS we thank God for our mothers, let us take a moment by remembering the many biblical stories of motherhood — stories that too many of us forget, or lack words, to celebrate, these are the women of the past, their stories may resonate with our present circumstances.
The great thing is Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so His love never changes, it is the same.
We remember Dinah and Joseph, children of Jacob and Rachel, burying their mother on the way to Bethlehem and leaving her grave behind. We know too many children who have faced this day, suddenly without their mother.
We remember Rachel, Sarah, and Elizabeth, and we have celebrated with every friend who held her newborn child and found it to be simultaneously the greatest gift and the hardest task.We imagine the hundreds of women who never merited a name in Scripture because they were unable to bear children to pass on the family faith. We know too many women facing miscarriage, infertility, and loneliness.
We remember Rahab, Deborah, Joanna, and Phoebe — women whose work surprisingly outweighed the need to record whether or not they had children. Were they childless by choice, by circumstance? Were the names of their children lost to a history that found them unimportant? Were they shamed in their lifetime for putting work ahead of family?
We remember the mother of Moses and the daughter of Pharaoh, linked and yet so separate. One gave up her child to save her child, and one took in a child despite the risks. We remember all the women who have given up their children in the hope of better life for them. We remember every woman who has made family through adoption, who has taken in a child “not her own,” because bone of bones is not always how a family is made.
We remember Naomi, demanding, “Call me ‘bitter.’” We remember the unnamed wife of Job. We know too many women who buried their children, lives lost unbearably early.
We remember Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, and Tamar, the daughter of David. We know too many women whose bodies, sexualities, marriages, and children should be a source of joy, instead corrupted by someone else’s sin.
We remember Hagar, and Tamar the wife of Er, women whose only hope for protection and care lay in having a child with a man who was not married to them. We remember that Hagar was sent into the wilderness to die, her son Ishmael at her side. We know too many women raising their children alone, and remember the women whose destruction has become a footnote while the men made history.
We remember Rebekah, and her twins Esau and Jacob already at war within her. We remember she chose a favourite son, just as her husband had. We know too many children who bear the trauma of parents who, perhaps, did what they thought was right and did the best they could, and scarred their children’s hearts for life.
We remember Hannah, her heart so wounded by the abuse of her husband’s other wife that she wept at the altar of God until she could not speak — and how Eli, the holy priest, assumed she must have been drunk to pray so hard. We know too many women whose heartbreak has been turned into a weapon against them.
We remember the woman at the well, silenced and shunned by divorce. We know too well the wretched freedom found in divorce, the messiness of new life with a broken heart.
We remember the foreign women described in Ezra and Nehemiah, the wives of God’s people, who came home with their husbands to rebuild the temple only to be cast aside by men claiming to be righteous and pure. We remember how many mothers have been made homeless or landless, often for reasons beyond their control, and how powerful men have turned them into pawns to be manipulated and ostracized.
We remember the Syrophoenician woman, alone, unsupported, and persistent beyond comprehension on behalf of her dying child. We know too many women whose demands were mocked or pushed aside, whose insistence on justice and equality meant others soured their lips.
We remember Mary Magdalene, the first preacher of the resurrection, soiled by centuries of slander that turned her from wide-eyed witness to reformed harlot. In her testimony, she gave birth to the church. We know too many women whose gender, sexuality, history, and bravery has been used against them and the gospel they proclaim.
We remember Mary the virgin, a teenage girl, cradling her stomach with wonder, answering the shock of a miracle and the sureness of societal judgment with a simple and determined “Yes.”
And We remember Eve, the mother of all, bone of the bones of the man of dust, her name a reflection of the Hebrew word for life.
We remember each woman who has found an inner courage to face impossibility. May the God who mothers each of us be a source of life for all who long for hope.
Romans 8 v38 says
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
SELAH MOMENT LET US PAUSE AND REFLECT
AS WE REMIND OURSELVES OF THESE STORIES LET US TAKE A MOMENT TO REMEMBER ALL WOMEN IN THE SAME SITUATIONS TODAY.
THEY MAY BE CLOSE TO US OR WE MAY ONLY KNOW OF THEIR STORY…LET US BRING THEM BEFORE THE LORD.
LORD JESUS THANK YOU THAT YOU LOVE ALL WOMEN, no one dignifies, affirms, redeems and celebrates women like the God of the bible. Let us rejoice in this truth today. in Jesus Name.
We have so many things to learn from the stories of these women, but today as I’ve mentioned our focus is on Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Mary the Mother of Jesus
Mary, the mother of Jesus is one of the most influential people in the bible. Her story is miraculous, and she is a woman of courage, strength, tenacity and immense faith. While she is best known and celebrated for giving birth to Jesus the Messiah, there are some truths that we can learn from her.
1.Mary was a chosen vessel of the Lord.
We read in Luke Ch 1
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was
Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly
favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’
Mary was chosen to fulfil the purpose of God in sending His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3.16.
If we are children of God, we have been chosen to be an instrument that God is using to fulfil His purposes to bear the same news that Mary did.. Mary was chosen to give spiritual life to the son of God, and we are chosen to give spiritual life to others. We are chosen to know and make known to others of the good news of Jesus, HE will save their people from their sins.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
Every person wants these three things—more than anything else:
- to be loved,
- to be accepted and
- to be chosen.These longings are there even in people unwilling to admit it.
But there’s good news: You don’t have to look anymore for love and acceptance. You’re already chosen, loved, and accepted by Jesus Christ.Mary accepted who God had chosen her to be and said “yes” to that life.“ Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” Luke 1.38.Mary said Yes to God’s plan for her life. she had an obedient, submissive, and a humble heart. Are you willing to say ‘yes Lord”, to whatever task he calls us to do? May we be faithful, obedient servants.
When Almighty God calls us to an assignment that is beyond our comprehension, may we reply with Mary’s obedience. Let us take hold of the truth of God’s word. The Lord was with Mary, and the promise is The Lord is with us too. If God has called us ,He will equip us to for what is ahead.
SELAH MOMENT –
LET US PAUSE AND STOP AND LISTEN TO WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT MIGHT BE SAYING TO US….
THE LORD HAS CHOSEN YOU…ARE YOU AWARE OF THAT? REALLY AWARE?
WHO IS THE LORD ASKING US TO SHARE THIS GOOD NEWS WITH TODAY?
ARE YOU ABLE TO SAY YES, LET IT BE ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD.
LETS PRAY “LORD SHOW ME 1 PERSON WHOM I CAN PRAY FOR TODAY.”
PRAY. FATHER GOD,
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING MARY TO BEAR YOUR SON JESUS, WHO WOULD SAVE THE PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS. THANK YOU FOR MARYS OBEDIENCE IN SAYING YES. THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING US, HELP US TO SAY YES TO THE CALLING YOU HAVE ON OUR LIVES,THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN US TO SHARE THIS GOOD NEWS WITH. OTHERS. HELP US BRING YOUR LOVE TO OTHERS. IN JESUS NAME.
2.The Holy Spirit Was Upon Mary.
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.’
As believers, we have the Holy Spirit working in us, and there is nothing we can accomplish for God outside the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you rely on the power of the Spirit, or do we rely on our own strength to get through difficult situations and trials?
The Holy Spirit is our ever present help in times of trouble or need. Mary needed the Holy Spirit to help her get through her situation that she found herself in, she was single, pregnant, betrothed to be married, the ridicule she may face, the dangers, Josephs reaction. The journey to keep Jesus safe whilst pregnant. The birth and the hostility and death penalty that male newborns would face. The journey she took with Jesus her precious son that led to his death on a cross. Mary needed the Holy Spirit to help her get through these difficulties and trying times. What are we facing that we need the Holy Spirit to help us with, direct us , comfort, and support us.
The Holy Spirit was upon her and the power of the most High overshadowed her. Mary surrendered to God’s plans not only for her life, but the life of her child.
As a Mother Mary needed the strength of the Holy Spirit to allow Jesus to minister in both familiar and uncomfortable settings. Mary surrendered her child over to God and his ultimate will.
If Mary tried to control God’s plans for Jesus, he wouldn’t have fulfilled his purpose on earth and die for the sins of humanity.
Mary could see the power of God in her sons life and knew she could trust and rely on this. She trusted her son because she knew the Spirit of God was upon Him. When a problem arises where do we turn first? do we seek Christ or others?
We read in John 2:3-5 “When the wine ran out the Mary mother of Jesus said to him,”They have no wine” and Jesus said to her “Woman what does this have to do with me?my hour has not yet come” His mother said to the servants ”Do whatever he tells you”. We see Mary reaching out to Jesus for help, because these things mattered to Mary, and they mattered to Jesus also.
For no word from God will ever fail.
Therefore if the heartbeat of your life is the glory of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will empower and help us with all His might. Lets live and speak so that men and
women in Penarth, Cardiff and beyond might know that Jesus Christ is a great Saviour, the son of the Most High, and the never-ending King of KINGS. Thats the passion of the Holy Spirit to be full of that is to be full of him. Let us live our lives being led by the Spirit
SELAH MOMENT. LET’S PAUSE AND REFLECT
HOLY SPIRIT SHOW US WHERE WE NEED TO TRUST AND RELY ON YOU MORE AND LESS ON OUR OWN RESOURCES.
HOLY SPIRIT BE OUR HELPER IN OUR TIME OF NEED, WE COME TO YOU FIRST, LET US HEAR YOUR WORDS TODAY THAT WILL HELP US. LEAD US AND GIVE US YOUR INSTRUCTION. GIVE US YOUR PROMISES, MAY YOUR WORD ALSO BE GIVEN TO US THROUGH YOUR HOLY SCRIPTURES. MAY YOU BE GLORIFIED LORD JESUS. AMEN.
3. Mary Knew Jesus Died For Her
Jesus was her son, but he was also her Saviour. The child she bore, the child she loved, the man he became, was also her son whom she watched die on the cross for the sins of the world and for hers too.
In Luke 2,34-35, says
“And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother” This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
Mary was faithful right to the end. She had to endure great suffering and pain watching her son die a violent death, beaten, abused, rejected, ridiculed. This was such sacrificial love that her son the Lord Jesus Christ showed towards mankind.
Do you know that Christ died for your sins? Have you turned away from them and put your faith and trust in Jesus. Such is his love for you.
Are you prepared to see this journey here on earth and remain faithful to the end? To hear those words of the Saviour say to you ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant!”
May we remember to have hearts that are submissive and obedient to God’s will for our lives. God’s call will look different to each one of us. He may call some of us to say yes to marriage, singleness, many children, few children, no children, adoption, missions overseas, missions in our homes, missions in our neighbourhoods, difficult relationships, loss of loved ones, life of riches, life of poverty and the list can go on and on, but one thing HE has called us all to, as followers of Christ is FAITHFULNESS.
SELAH MOMENT. LETS PAUSE AND REFLECT
Let us take a moment to say thank you to Jesus for dying on the cross for us, forgiving us loving us, and bringing us hope and a future.
If you would like to know who JESUS is today
please say this prayer inviting Jesus to be part of your life.
Dear Lord Jesus.
I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite you to come into my life. I want to trust you, and know that you are with me all the days of my life. Help me follow you as my Lord and Saviour. Holy Spirit come upon me and lead me into all truth. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Please speak to someone if you have made this decision today. For those of you who are Christians…followers of Jesus…
Are you being faithful to God?
Are you following where He is leading?
Are you willing to follow to the very end or have you become distracted, disappointed or worn out?
Be encouraged by the stories and the lives of women of faith throughout the generations. Let us be encouraged by Mary’s example, let us recognise that like her God has also chosen us, to know Him and be witnesses in this world, Be encouraged that in order to do this the Holy Spirit is our helper and guide. Be encouraged that it is Jesus who is also with us through to the very end and gives us what we need to finish the race well.
Thank you that we can come to you when we are weary or heavy laden, and
you will restore us. we ask for forgiveness when we have become distracted with other stuff. Today help us turn to you for our help and strength. Thank you for choosing us and that you have a plan for our lives, let us say yes to your calling, and to trust in the holy spirit as our helper.
Help us Lord to stay faithful to the very end..
Discovering Gods Chosen Word For You
- Read the passage Luke 1:26-38 out loud together, do this three times using different versions if you have them.
- Now without reference to the Bible recount the story in your own words
- What does this passage reveal about God
- What does this passage reveal about us.
- Is there an invitation to accept, a command to obey or example to follow inthis text.
- How does this story relate to your story? IS God asking something of you?How are you going to respond?
- Who can you share what you have learnt with?