Third Sunday after Easter           12 May 2019 A.D.            Mother’s Day    Morni

Third Sunday after Easter           12 May 2019 A.D.            Mother’s Day    Morning Prayer

Psalms 36:5        First lesson. 1 Samuel 2:1b-10      Second lesson  Acts 2:22-36

                                         Almighty God, who showest to them that are in error
                                         the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return
                                         into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those
                                         who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s 
                                         Religion, that they may avoid those things that are 
                                         contrary to their profession, and follow all such things
                                         as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus
                                         Christ.                                                   Amen.

“Mothers in the Bible” 

Elizabeth-John B.; 
Lois, Eunice-Timothy

   Today let us take a brief biographic stroll through the lives of famous mothers in the Bible. As we reflect on their lives and their godly influence on their children, especially as it pertains to the eternal plan of redemption of mankind, let us think of our own mothers this day.  Now let me introduce you to a famous mother: Hannah.

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.  There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
     This passage for today’s reading is from  Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for her first born son, Samuel.
Hannah had been unable to have children. For years and yeas she would go to the city of Shiloh with her husband to offer sacrifice and to worship the Lord. Before the temple was built in Jerusalem, the ark of the covenant which included meaningful objects of God’s love towards his people, was housed at various places in the land of the Hebrews. During this time it was the city of Shiloh.  Hannah would pray that God would give her a son and she promised to give that son to the Lord’s work. In God’s time he responded to her prayer.  Hannah would bear a son within that year. She dedicates him to the Lord and gives him to Eli the high priest to raise in holy orders. Hannah would have several other children, sons and daughters. 
This story of Hannah is not the first nor the last account of a loving mother and her children.
The mothers I have listed are just a few of the stories we can read in the Bible that will give us the great example of a loving mother. 
Now if we turned to the book of Ruth we are introduced to another great pair of mothers, one who will reflect the love and redemption of her LORD, the other who will be in the lineage of the Messiah, who will redeem the world.
   In the story of Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth we find a mother who will love her son’s wife as her own child. The story is that Naomi and her husband and two sons will go live in Moab. After a while Naomi’s husband dies. Her two sons marry local girls and then they die. Naomi feels that it is time to return home to Judah. She tells her two daughter in laws that they should return to their own people. One does the other stays with Naomi. Ruth tells Naomi that her people are Ruth’s people, her God is Ruth’s God. This declaration speaks volumes about how Naomi must have treated her daughter in laws. There was great respect here. 
      So as the story continues Naomi and Ruth return to the town of Bethlehem. Naomi has a relative there who is quite wealthy, a major land owner and farmer. Ruth offers to glean the fields of this kinsman of Naomi to the two of them will be able to eat. The kinsman, Boaz by name notices Ruth. He wants to help Ruth because of her kindness to Naomi. 
 The rest of the story is the  wonderful concept of redemption. Ruth is married to Boaz, she bares him a son named Obed. Obed has a son named Jesse who is the father of David.  How is this redemption ?  Ruth was a stranger to the people of Bethlehem. She was ‘adopted’ by her mother in law. From this great act of love Ruth will be part of the lineage of David who is in the lineage of Jesus. And of course Jesus is the Redeemer of all who believe in him.  So in an act of being a loving mother, Naomi and her cousin Boaz will foreshadow what Christ Jesus will do for us . 
   Now we shall go to the actual story of Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God; this is his story of his faithful mother and cousins.
      Elizabeth, a faithful wife of a priest in the tribe of Levi who was named Zacharias, will suffer the shame of being childless. In the narrative we find the angel Gabriel bringing great news to two families. When Mary, a virgin, was told by Gabriel that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost a son, who would be named Jesus. The angel would certify the miracle of the virgin birth with the miracle of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy in her old age. Wonderful verse of scripture, Luke 1:37. “...For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
    With these two mothers, Elizabeth and Mary, they would give up their sons to the greatest ministry mankind has ever known. John would announce the coming of the long anticipated Messiah.  Jesus would be that long anticipated One. He who would bring salvation unto all mankind. These mothers would give up their respective sons, to untimely deaths. And yet they would be the best mothers they could be, possibly only knowing part of what was to come in each life and yet still being the best they could in raising these boys to manhood.
   In the last example of mothers today, let us look at the two women who would influence a young missionary/pastor and eventually bishop of the early church. Lois and her daughter Eunice would both be instrumental in raising a young boy, Timothy, in the way of the Lord. 
  When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
   Here we read St. Paul’s charge to Timothy to remember what he has learned from the faith of his grandmother and mother. Paul is giving these two ladies great praise for what they did in raising Timothy to be a faithful young believer. Wow what a strong message to us today. When we look at the examples of the mothers down through the ages as depicted in the Scripture, let us bear in mind and meditate on the great work that they did in guiding their children in the faith.
    As we remember our mothers this day let us understand that being a mother comes with a great responsibility. Mothers of all times and places in history, have been the bulwark of civilization.  Because of faithful, strong, kind and loving mothers we have reason to rejoice. 
  Every mother is special to her children, every mother should be honored this day. (Ex.20:12..honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.{which is the first of the Ten Commandments with a promise})
   Today is the day we honor mothers. But let us honor and love our mothers, grandmothers and those who are like mothers to us not only today but throughout the year. In honoring our mothers we also honor God and honor his order of what is right and correct in the process of a civilized society.   May God bless and keep our mothers here and help us bless the memories of mothers who have gone before us. 

Let us pray:

ALMIGHTY God, we entrust all who are dear to us; most especially this day, our mothers; who to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come; knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
ALMIGHTY God, who alone gavest us the breath of life, and alone canst keep alive in us the holy desires thou dost impart; We beseech thee, for thy compassion's sake, to sanctify all our thoughts and endeavours; that we may neither begin an action without a pure intention nor continue it without thy blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of the mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, we may in heart be inspired by thy wisdom, and in work be upheld by thy strength, and in the end be accepted of thee as thy faithful servants; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.