Sermon 5/09/2021: Resurrection Instructions for Mother’s Day Mother’s Day (Eastertide V)

At this time, due to Coronavirus concerns, many are not quite ready to return to face to face worship. If this includes you, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/546986000

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/crhj3qVfjEg

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with the words of The Centering Prayer:

Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help.
I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life.
Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not.
Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature.
Help me to serve you in flow as I am gifted.
Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood.
I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

HYMN I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
I Want to Walk as a Child – Ed Jansen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QISk0oYYpuk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Faith of Our Mothers, Living Still
Faith of Our Mothers · Desert Jewels
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t65dAZSe4tk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Resurrection Instructions for Mother’s Day
Philippians 3:9-10, 2 Timothy 1:1-7, 2:1-2, Ephesians 6:1-4
Series: Building Bridges from Easter to Pentecost

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.

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SERMON NOTES

Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

2 Timothy 1:1-7
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. 4 As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lo’is and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you. 6 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Ephesians 6:1-4
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

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HYMN Happy the Home When God Is There 445
HAPPY THE HOME WHEN GOD IS THERE Hymn Lyrics Words
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YEKKWaNsxA

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Jesus by joining in the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

(If you wish, you can listen to this prayer being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Happy Mother’s Day! But what I should really say is “Happy day when we give thanks to people who mother.” Not everyone gets to be a biological mother, but so many people mother us and watch over us. And we are who we are today because of them. It’s been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Mothers have an influence upon us and influence is a superpower. We need to use it for good.

I have lived my entire life generally unable to go against the way my mother raised me. Maybe you’re like that. Also, about 15 years ago, I was at my brother’s house in Dallas and my mother was there and we were getting ready to sit down to eat supper. And my mother said, “Don’t pour a glass of iced tea for me.” And we all looked at her and said, “Why?” And she said, “Well, I read an article that said, if you drink while you are eating, it dilutes your gastric juices and your digestion is not as good. So I decided not to drink anything during the meal.”

And as that meal went by, I looked at my full iced tea glass in amazement because I found I too was unable to drink anything during the meal. And now 15 years later, it still pretty much sticks. Mothers have an influence. And they, in many different ways – sometimes not for the best – have influenced us to live a certain way.

When I was in sixth grade – now, sixth grade is pretty young – my mother looked at me and said, “David, today I’m going to teach you how to iron a white dress shirt.” So she got out one of my dad’s white dress shirts – my dad was a math teacher – and she taught me how to iron a white dress shirt. And I said to her, “Mom, all I ever wear are t-shirts. Why do I need to know this?” And she said, “Well, it’s really very simple.” She said, “When you get older, I don’t want you to marry the wrong girl because you need your shirts ironed.” Now, no exaggeration. That is what she said.

The next year, she taught my brother, who’s a year and a half younger than me, how to cook. So beginning in junior high, we made supper every night. And we fought so much, we didn’t take the same nights. And there were some nights I’m sure she regretted having us make supper. But it was the same reason. “When you’re all grown up, I don’t want you to marry the first girl that comes along just because you don’t know how to cook.” I wouldn’t say I’m a good cook, but I can survive.

Mothers have an influence and it’s a powerful influence. But the way they teach us is by modeling what we do, as we talked about last week. The mother says, “I do. You watch, okay? You got it? Okay. Now we’re going to do it and we’re going to learn and I’m going to fix your mistakes.” And then finally, when there’s confidence Now you do it and I’ll watch while you iron a shirt, while you make supper, while you do whatever. Mothers are teachers first because they show us and then they help us learn to do what they modeled for us.

I don’t know if you’ve thought about this, but there’s two kinds of families, the first kind of family is in the picture on the left. Those are biological families. You remember Leave It to Beaver? Every week, Beaver would have a problem that wasn’t much of a problem. Above that is the picture of the Walton family and struggling in poverty in the Appalachian Mountains. They had some real problems, but they worked hard and they worked together and they struggled with them and they overcame them. All of us in this room today have biological families.

But during elementary school, kids get into a psychological phase called “chumship,” and it extends into adolescence. And children begin to choose a family. They begin to choose friends who begin to take on the function of a family. And if in the biological family, there are lots of problems, the family of friends that are chosen, the chosen family, is chosen to help them overcome those problems.

Friends become a family. You see the TV show Friends up there. There is a trend in all of our society to portray families in TV shows because human beings crave to be part of a family. They crave to be part of a functional biological family. But in addition to that, there’s this family of choice, this group of friends that acts like a family and sometimes it’s work families. Kim and I have been watching NCIS in order, we’re up to season nine. And in every episode, I’m just really aware, Gibbs always talks about “his team.” But you know what it really means? They are his family. And for many people, if the biological family is full of trouble, they develop a work family that can be there for them when their biological family could not.

When we consider Timothy, Timothy from the Bible had a biological family, 2nd Timothy, 2-5. Paul writes, I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and now, I am sure, dwells in you. Two Jewish women. Timothy had a Greek, non-Jewish father, but they raised him and he absorbed his faith through those who mothered him. And friends, that happens very, very commonly. Children absorb the faith that is practiced in their home.

A biological family has influence over us, and quite often we don’t even realize how much there is. I still remember sometime around what would it have been, 1995 or so? Walking down the hallway on a Saturday afternoon, turning off light switches and muttering under my breath, “You’d think we own stock in Illinois Power.” And all of a sudden, it just dawned on me. That’s exactly what my father always said. The influence of your biological family can sneak up on you without you even realizing it. There I was, 1995. I was my father now. In my middle age, I had become him.

And again, there are some good things about it. There are some things I wish were different about it. But we are influenced by the biological family we grow up in. And sometimes, we don’t even realize that influence.

But Timothy also had a chosen family that taught him faith. 2 Timothy 1:1, the verse is just preceding the ones I read earlier: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus to Timothy, my beloved child. No relation, but Paul makes it very, very plain who Timothy is to him. Timothy is a chosen child. And Paul has every feeling that fathers feel for their children. So he says to Timothy, “Grace, mercy, and peace from God, the father and Christ Jesus, our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. As I remember your tears, I long, day and night, to see you, that I may be filled with joy.”

Paul names it. Timothy is his son by choice. In the second chapter, it begins this way, “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and what you’ve heard from me before many witnesses. Entrust the faithful man who will be able to teach others also.” And when you think about that, that’s four generations of passing on the faith. It goes from Paul to Timothy. It goes from Timothy to trustworthy, faithful people. And it goes from those people out to other people who will then pass it on to other people.

Paul speaks of the Church like a family. A Church is a chosen family.

Like Paul chooses Timothy, people in the Church choose people to love. Like Timothy chooses Paul, people are drawn to the Church because it feels like family. And if the TV shows we watch today are any indication, people still crave to be a part of a functional family.

And so if you look down at the bottom right-hand corner of your bulletin, it will tell you that the vision statement of this Church is,

We are a functional family of God where Jesus is Lord and people grow

because people out there want to overcome their problems. They need to come and be a part of a family that will help them grow, help them grow up. They are looking for people who will be like mothers and tell them to stand up straight. They’re looking for people who will be like fathers who will encourage them to try to do more. They are hungry for family. They’re not hungry to be part of a dysfunctional family but churches that grow are churches that are marked by kindness and caring and love. At first, they model it by how they love each other, and then they model it by loving people outside.

God is a chosen father, and a church is a chosen family. So we need to pay attention to who is being chosen because you have more influence than you can imagine on the people who are watching you.

This was on a little sign in the office of the assistant director of the YMCA in Quincy back, perhaps, 1990, years and years and years ago.

If you who are good don’t have time to teach children to do what is right, someone who is not good with lots of time will teach them to do what is wrong.

And what that sign meant, as the YMCA involved children from the community interacting with adults who were good people, is if we want to change the way a community is, we have to take time. And that becomes a chosen family. It becomes a family where people who need mothering are adopted.

So in all honesty, on Mother’s Day or Mothering Day, whatever you want to call it, mothering is still needed. There are still so many children who have grown up into adults who started out as motherless child or who, in their adulthood, still feel that that need terribly. And we have an opportunity, as the people of God, to be a good influence. Just as I said last week, you need someone to teach you how to follow Jesus. It’s not good for you to be asked to figure it out on your own.

And we can choose to influence people for good. Why? Because God is a chosen father, and people are loved into the family of God. They are not harangued or harassed or criticized or shamed or preached at or Bible-taught. They are loved into the family of God.

And so Jesus says to all of the people who follow Him, we need to love our neighbor as ourselves because that’s what helps the seed of the gospel to grow in their lives.

So if churches are chosen family, that means people are choosing us. It also means that in the way love flows out from us, we are choosing people to love. Now, of course, we love everybody. But there are some people that you look after, that you follow, that you watch over. And if you haven’t seen them for a while, your heart aches, and you feel that you need to pray for them. Let your influence flow out among the people who need our Lord.

Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, we thank you for the way that mothers and physical families love their biological children. But the task of mothering is so much wider than just our own because we love the friends of our children, and we love the children of our neighbors. And we keep an eye out and try to make certain that people are safe, and we do all those things that can be called mothering. What a sad thing it is, Lord, in the 50 years that have gone past, that we are now so busy that we just so often don’t even notice families in trouble, children in trouble. We don’t even notice the people around us.

Lord, help our church to become even more and more a church that people choose. And help each of us, Lord, to be people who extend our loving influence to others so that they know, when times are hard, when hearts are broken, when grief and trouble come upon them, so that they know where they can find people who care. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.
 

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