To kick this off, watch the video on the link at the bottom. It’ll do you good. If you’ve seen it before, watch it again. Three minutes well spent.
A couple of things about our Moms. First, if you happen to go through old pictures of you and your Mom on Mother’s day as some of us are want to do you realize what the most important thing in life is. Scrolling through the images, or flipping through the album, you don’t look at the car, or the boat, or the size of the house. You don’t remember how many thousands you made that year or how big your office staff was.
You remember people. You remember the good times you had with them. You think of what you’d give to have just one more week with your Mom, sitting on the deck at the cottage, listening to the kids laugh and play, and loving the story she’s telling you again for the umpteenth time.
This is the gold and silver of life. The relationship that says “I love you, and I’m willing to serve your needs, and I’m willing to be there for you, and there’s nothing that can ever get in the way of that.” It’s the essence of Mom. Which, not incidentally, is the ultimate message of the Bible. Relationship is the most important thing. It happens to be the essence of Jesus as well.
Second. The pictures bring back memories of all the things she did for you. She was your provider. Your deep well. Your servant.
I know, the word “servant” seems almost derogatory. Mostly because we’re so influenced by a culture that teaches us it’s better to be served. In fact, according to the doctrine of the American Dream, to which so many of us happily subscribe, one of the first indicators of “living the good life” is the number of people we have serving our needs.
There’s a passage from Philippians 4 that tells us what God’s love looks like in a human being.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In the real world of stress and worry and competition, God’s love is made real when we take on the nature of a servant. We see that in our Moms. As foolish as it may be to much of the world, it’s our gold and silver.
It’s true that oftentimes there is great joy in serving others. After 18 years of diapers, cleaning up after, driving to practices, and worrying sick when he’s home late from the party, check out Mom’s face when she’s taking the photo at the grade 12 graduation. That’s joy. That’s the payoff.
When we think of our Moms, we know that service isn’t always about joy and fun. When you get up to comfort your two year old who wakes up crying in the dead of night, for the fourth night in a row, you’re not singing “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart” on the way back to bed. You get up, not because it makes you feel good, but because it’s just what you do.
Sometimes it’s not easy, and sometimes there is no obvious joy, but it’s who we are, and we do it because it’s the right thing. A mother’s love is a shining example of that service.
Last thing. This is a great and wonderful truth that comes out of the video below. Moms often feel as though they fail. In the video they are confessing to the camera: “I’m didn’t do this as well as I could have.” “I shouldn’t have gotten mad. Why can’t I be more patient?” “I should have given better advice.” “I should have spent more time.”
Without a doubt, as we talk about how beautiful Moms are this weekend, and how you all hit it out of the park for your kids and family for so many years, many of you Moms are sitting there thinking about all the ways you struck out. Over and over again.
And then, in the video, there is that moment that is so full of gospel. There is this incredible turn around where suddenly, the kids are there, on the screen, the sons and the daughters of these same Moms that see failure before success. And now it’s the kids who are talking. And they’re talking about their Moms. And they’re saying “My Mom is amazing.” “My Mom is my heart, that’s just how close we are.” “My Mom and me do fun things together, and she’s my best friend.” ‘My Mom means everything to me.”
The Moms are watching these love-soaked words, as though they are looking in a mirror seeing a reflection that is the polar opposite of how they see themselves.
Now the tables are beautifully turned, and the kids are now providing something for their Moms. Something that is more valuable that anything in the heavens or in the earth. What the kids are giving is grace. It doesn’t matter what you do, I still love you. I always will.
As Moms, you see, at that moment, that your mistakes are not bigger than their love for you. That’s grace. That’s why that moment is so powerful. When someone loves you even when you fail.
As parents, both Moms and Dads, we do our best to show our kids what God is like. But every now and again, they show us. Surprise. I love you no matter how you fail, you are precious in my sight, no darkness, no falling short, can ever change that. That’s what God is like.
So on this Mother’s Day, thank you Mom, for showing us that relationship is the most important thing. It's love made real. It's what we celebrate today, and always.