What I Learned from my Mother

A Sermon for Mother's Day

O Lord, open our eyes
To behold your presence.

O Lord, open our ears
To hear your voice.

O Lord, open our hearts
To receive your love.

O Lord, help us to behold, to hear and to receive you in Word and Sacrament
That our mouths may proclaim your praise. Amen.

Today is Mother’s Day. It is the one day each year that we men put aside to honor our mothers and the mothers of our children. And they happen to be the one person we will generally buy a gift for, and we will still anguish over what to buy. If you have not yet purchased a gift for your mother or your wife, let me give you a couple of quick hints on what not to buy.

Do not buy her anything that plugs in. If something needs to be plugged in, she will only see it as a tool. Also, do not get her any exercise equipment or videos, as this will lead to six months of her asking you why you think she needs to exercise in the first place. And I guarantee you that you will never have the right answer.

Mothers are teachers. Mothers are disciplinarians. Mothers are cleaning ladies. Some mothers are gardeners & mowers of lawns. And most mothers understand that baking cookies is more important than washing windows, too.

Mothers are nurses & doctors & psychologists & counselors & chauffeurs & coaches. Mothers are developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies, & shapers of attitudes. Mothers are soft voices saying, "I love you." And mothers are a link to God, a child’s first impression of God’s love.

Quotation: A Jewish proverb says, "God could not be everywhere so he made mothers."

Transition: I believe that mothers have a special place in the heart of God.

On this day that we honor mothers, it’s good for us to think about how much you really do. Being a mother is not a walk in the parků

By the time a child reaches 18, a mother has had to handle some extra 18,000 hours of child-generated work.

My mother taught me RELIGION: When I spilled grape juice on the carpet, she instructed, "You better pray that stain will come out!"

My mother taught me how to be DECISIVE: When she said, "Because I said so, that’s why."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT: "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY: "Just keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about STAMINA: "You’ll sit there ’til all that spinach is finished."

My mother taught me about WEATHER: "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: "Stop acting like your father!"

My mother taught me about APPRECIATION: "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have a wonderful Mom like you do!"

My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

You know it is amazing to me that whenever God describes the nature of his relationship with his people he always speaks of it by comparing it to the most intense relationships that human beings have with one another. Did you ever notice that God never compares this relationship to a business partnership or a casual acquaintance? God is always our Father, or like a Mother, or our Husband, or our Friend who is closer than a brother and who lays down his life for us.

But seriously, Moms are so amazing and do so much for their children. Things that only a Mother can do. And this is your day Moms to receive appreciation and honor and a well deserved rest.

But even with all that honor, even with all that praise, even with having your own day right on the calendar, as a Mother do you ever feel like a failure? Moms, do you ever feel like you’re doing a lousy job? Ever feel like no matter how hard you work and how much you pour into your kid’s lives it doesn’t make a difference?

Now life can be a little hectic at times. Life can be a little stressful at times. We even fail at times as parents. But Moms, even when you feel like you aren’t making a difference – you are! [3] You make a difference in your children’s lives! Maybe even the biggest difference that there could be made.

George Barna (is the founder of The Barna Group, a market research firm specializing in studying the religious beliefs and behavior of Americans, and the intersection of faith and culture) did some extensive research on today’s generation of teens. He published his findings in a book called “Third Millennium Teens”. This research looks at their worldviews, their interests, their struggles, their influences, and many other things. But what caught my attention about his study were today’s teen influences. What and who influences today’s youth. Can you guess what the number one influence, according to the teens themselves, is?

[4] 80% of today’s teens say their parents are the biggest influence in their lives!

The percentage is the same for non-Christian and Christian teens. Eight out of ten teens say Mom and Dad have more influence over them than their coaches, than their teachers, than their friends, than their Youth Pastor, than the Bible, than tv, than anything! Parents are the main influence in their children’s lives. Moms, you make a difference!

The Gospel said “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

Those, whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred of the entire world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Savior should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it. Now that’s important we need to show our thanks to our moms, Its easy also, ALL its takes is a simple thanks, I love you, or hug. Just something to let her know you care.

They are to show their love to him by keeping his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should direct us to love each other. And we can thank our mom for that cause like I said in the earlier; Moms are a direct link to god and is a child’s first impression of God’s Love. Keep that in mind and lastly I thank every mother here for all their hard work and I hope you know that we all appreciate all that you do. AMEN.

—Chris Wright
May 13, 2012