Sermon

Unknown yet Unforgettable (Mother’s Day)

grayscale photo of woman kissing toddler on cheek standing beside tree
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We give thanks to God for the godly mothers who have positively impacted our lives. Whether it is your own mother or another woman who was a mother to you, we rejoice in a mother’s love. What is a mother? It has been said that a mother is someone who does the work of twenty, for free. Carlyon Draws recently gave a helpful definition of a Mom: “provider of hugs, manners, and clean underwear. Reader of stories, healer of tummies, scraped knees, and broken hearts. Referee, medic, genius. Keeper of secrets and master of leftovers. Miracle worker, brave defender, advocate of ‘Thank You’ and ‘Please’, wise listener, hero, and best friend.” Milton Berle once said, “If Evolution were real, why do mothers only have two hands?” This Mother’s Day we will discuss two amazing mothers who demonstrated unforgettable Christlike love.

Their Names are Unknown

Would it surprise you to learn that a woman who had a huge impact on the Apostle Paul is nameless in the Bible? For the reason only known by God, Rufus’ mother’s name is not recorded for us. Paul ends his letter to the church at Rome by greeting numerous people who have been instrumental in his life. In one verse he wrote, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well” (16:13). All we know about her is that she was a loving mother who was also motherly toward others. Would it also surprise you to learn that one of the best examples of a mother’s love is an unnamed woman in Matthew 15:21-28? We know where she is from and what her problem is, but we do not know who she is.

Being a mother is important, but mothers are not in it for praise and accolades. Much of what a mother does is without fanfare because it is done behind the scenes. Appreciation is nice, even if there is no appreciation, mothers will still do what needs to be done. A day of acknowledgement is nice, but women do not become mothers because of the recognition of Mother’s Day. For a godly mother, the only recognition that truly matters is from God.

Their Love is Unforgettable

While these mother’s names are unknown, their love is unforgettable. A mother’s love may not get instant appreciation, but it is usually remembered fondly. Paul, in his greetings, reflects on his friend Rufus and he cannot forget the tender, loving care provided to him by Rufus’ mother. Rufus’ mother was not just a mother to her biological children, but to anyone who was in need. The mother from Matthew 15 showed great love for her daughter and begged Jesus to heal her. Consider the mother’s anguished cry, “Have mercy on me, Son of David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.” Her daughter’s torment was her torment as well. Her daughter’s pain was her pain. Her daughter’s suffering was her suffering. Therefore, she kept crying out to Jesus for mercy. Even though He did not immediately answer her, she persisted. Even though Jesus’ disciples asked Him to send her away, she persisted. Even though Jesus compared her to a dog, she persisted saying, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” She basically said, “I know that I do not deserve anything from you and you would be completely just in passing by me without helping, but I desperately need you to help me and I believe you are merciful and gracious.” Jesus saw her great faith and healed her daughter instantly.

What makes a godly mother’s love unforgettable? Because it is founded in Christ. A great description of this love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:7 which says: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Love Bears All Things

True love that is rooted in Christ is supportive. True love bears all things because true love is focused on helping others know Jesus as Savior and Lord. True love bears with everyone because it seeks the best for everyone. A godly mother shows the love of Christ by being supportive and seeking to help her family grow closer to God.

Love Believes All Things

True love that is rooted in Christ is positive. This is not a love that is naive or lacking in discernment, but love that believes the best in people and refuses to believe the worst without good evidence. True love believes all things because Christians serve a God who “will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). A godly mother shows the love of Christ by wanting what is best for you and refusing to beat you down.

Love Hopes All Things

True love that is rooted in Christ is hopeful. True love hopes all things because with Christ Jesus there is always hope. True love is not given to despair because God has promised He “will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5). A godly mother shows the love of Christ by never giving up and never losing hope. No matter how difficult it may get, Christ’s love is faithful and steadfast.

Love Endures All Things

True love that is rooted in Christ is enduring. True love endures all things because the love of Christ endures forever. In Lamentations, the book which means sorrow and sadness, Jeremiah writes, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23).  True love is able to endure because Christ endures on our behalf. A godly mother shows the love of Christ in her endurance. Mothers, are you tempted to despair? Do you sometimes find yourself thinking that nothing will improve? Cling close to Christ Jesus and plead with Him to help you.