Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Easter 06 - Mother's Day

All About the Love….


Well, this is mother’s day.
Do you know that this day is celebrated in almost every country in the world, either in April or May? However, they all trace their roots back to the American Civil War, and the early 1900’s in the US.

In 1870 Julia Ward Howe made a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” ... it ameout of a group of mother's who had been meeting to protest the violence of the American civil war and was trying to re-unite families that had been divided. 

Then in 1908 Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother and began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. It took 6 years, but it was eventually recognized and spread worldwide.

The original idea that prompted both of these women to start a holiday was the idea of love, and that this love was first learned in the family, and for most of us, through our mother….
It was meant to be a moment to recognize all the goodness that went into bringing you up…

With the Kids

Theme: Show your love by your actions (Mother's Day)
Object: A Mother's Day card

I am sure that all of you know that it is Mother's Day. Did you give your mother a card or a present for Mother's Day? This Mother's Day card says, "Mom, I love you!" Do you think your mother likes to hear you tell her that you love her? Of course she does! But do you know what your mother would like even more? She would like for you to show her that you love her.

What are some ways you can show your mother that you love her? Well, you might help out around the house. You could clean your room or empty the trash. You could show her that you love her by obeying her when she tells you to do something. You can show her you love her by getting along with your brothers and sisters. It is easy to tell your mom that you love her, but if you really love her, your actions will show it!

Do you think that God likes to hear us tell Him that we love Him? I know He does. But He likes it even better when our actions show Him that we love Him. How do we do that? The Bible tells us that, "God showed his love for us by sending His one and only Son so that we might live through him." It goes on to say that, "since God loved us so much, we ought to love one another." One of the best ways to show our love for God is to love one another. Yes, God likes to hear us say, "I love you," but He would rather see us say, "I love you."

As we celebrate Mother's Day, let's tell Mom that we love her, but more important, let's remember to show her that we love her. And as we worship today, let's tell God we love him, but more important, let's remember to show him we love him by loving one another.

Dear Lord, we have come to your house today to say, "I love you." Help us to go out of here today and show you that we love you by our actions. Amen.

Love the Parent Love the Child

Today’s readings are not about mothers per se. But the one thing they all have in common is the idea of love.

Now, love is a difficult concept to get our heads around. I love steak. I love ice cream, there is “tough love” there is the love I have for my daughters, there is the love I have for my girlfriend, there is the love I have for my mother… All of those things are quite different, I think.

Or are they…

When Jesus spoke of love he spoke of a feeling that comes from God. The disciples echoed this and claimed that if you loved God, you would keep the commandments – you would “act” out of love.

Now, none of them really said what this love looked like. There are no real speeches that say, go buy flowers on mother’s day. The Bible does not tell you that it is a commandment to hug someone when they are sad…

Instead, the Bible makes a big deal about being “like” Jesus.

And Jesus was a guy who did certain things… he ate with people who were lonely, he listened whenever anyone talked to him, whether they were rich or poor good or bad, smart or dumb, he laughed when people told him jokes, he danced at parties, he just smiled knowingly when the friends lowered their sick friend through the roof jumping the line…

The thing the disciples knew about Jesus was that he cared, passionately, about everyone and everything….

Now, I know that not all mothers are the epitome of love. I certainly know that not all sons make it easy to love them. But I do know a little about trying to love like God, like Jesus, and I know it is not easy for any of us.

The best opening monologue of any movie – or for that matter any story in my opinion, also comes from the movie, Love Actually – in which we find Hugh grant, playing the Prime minister of England, speaking in the background as the camera pans across a group of people coming into the airport from their plane. He says:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion love actually is all around.”

The type of love that is based not on passion, not simply on romance, but based on the actual caring heart reaching out to one another, is, all around us... this is what Jesus was trying to say to his disciples when he told them that even when they could no longer see him physically with them - they would still be able to recognize the presence of what Jesus stood for – of love.

But at the same time – this is the type of love that you have to do in order to get.

There was this man who was trying to read a serious book, but his little daughter kept interrupting him. She would lean on his knee and look up and say, “Daddy I love you.” And he would reach down and pat her absently on the head and say “Yes dear, I love you too.” And then give her a little push, an encouraging suggestion to be on her way, to go play, so he could get back to his book. But as this happened a couple of times it never satisfied the little girl, so finally she ran across the room, jumped up on his lap, threw her arms around him and said, “Daddy I love you, and I just have to DO something about it!” You see, as we grow in love we are not content with the small talk love, or the pat on the head love, we want to get involved and DO something about it.

When Jesus was nearing the end of his ministry with the disciples – it was this message that he meant to get across... think back to what Jesus said was the greatest commandment we should follow: "You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbour as yourself." After he said that, Jesus went on to finish with... "DO THIS and you will live."

If you love me – if you are a follower of Jesus – if you love God; you will keep my commandments.


There is a little bit of Mother’s Day and Jesus’ Sermon overlap in this sermon.
I don’t think Jesus would mind.

The Catholic Church took the motherhood of Jesus seriously enough to make Mary, the mother of Jesus, more than a Saint.

The thing is that Jesus wanted us all to understand love and compassion, and he wanted us to live that way. And today, on Mother’s day, we can remember the first person who ever showed us that type of compassion… our mother.

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