Comment from Ken: I’ll be thinking of all those who have been a part of my ministry this weekend. I very much miss my active ministry and am grateful to Chris Horvath for helping me with our walk each week. Again, I appreciate any comments and hope you enjoy our time together, In Christian love, ken. And by the way – Happy Mother’s Day.
Scripture John 19: 25 – 30
25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. 28After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”
And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Thanks for being right on time for our walk. Usually it is me who arrives late for the walk but not today. May I make a suggestion to you? As it is only fifty degrees out today, and it is cloudy, why don’t you and I just sit here by the nice warm stove? It is spring yet it even snowed a little in northern New Hampshire last night. Did you notice how you smelled that nice scent of wood burning as you approached the neighborhood? I like that smell too as long as it is from a wood fire in a stove. Come on; sit down in that rocking chair, and we will talk about Mother’s Day.
Years ago, some church denominations wished to term the second Sunday in May “Family Day”, yet Mother’s Day does not exclude those women who have not had children. There are many women who are teachers or who hold other occupations who are wonderful mothers even though they watch over someone else’s child. My mother’s sister, Mildred, did not have any children, but in so many ways, she was a wonderful mother/aunt to me and to my brothers and sisters. So this pastor defends the special day recognizing mothers and does not see it as excluding any women. So let’s talk about mothers as we sit by the stove.
It was easy to be my mother for I was an adorable baby, a dutiful son, and a child who always desired to do that which was acceptable and right. I do believe my mother was just happy and delighted that I, Kenneth Albert, was her son. I wanted to please people – my teachers and my parents and my friends – in other words, I wanted to be a good person. So my mother had it easy raising me as compared to other mothers who had difficult children. No, I never caused my mother, worry, pain or sorrow.
You question my words, my sincerity, as I speak of how exceptionally good I was growing up into adulthood? You question that I never caused my mother grief or worry? It is a good thing that you question it for my statements about my mother being free of worry or concern about me are false and untrue.
When I was born, I was born with a tumor on my forehead. Perhaps you can still see the scar where it was removed. Do you think my mother worried about that tumor? I’m sure my mother was concerned. When I was a baby and was ill and had a fever, do you think my mother was frightened? When it was winter and I went out to play in the snow and my mother put on my snowsuit, do you think my mother was protecting me from the cold and frostbite? And when I came inside, and she made me take off my wet clothes and sit by the warm radiator until I stopped shivering, was she not afraid in a day when there were no antibiotics that I might contract pneumonia?
On my first day of school, my mother walked me to the Whittier School. When she kissed me and turned and went home, do you think that when home she wondered how I was doing in a classroom setting? And as the days progressed in my schooling, do you not think she worried that I would arrive home safely?
When I was foolishly riding my bike and was showing off in front of my little brother and sister, I rode toward where the grass ended and a wall held back the earth. I failed to brake soon enough, and I fell bike and all three feet to the cement sidewalk. The whole side of my face was scraped raw, and my mother thought she heard my sister cry out, “He is dead!” When my mother came running outside, do you think she was not worried about this perfect son? Well, not so perfect was he! Not perfect, and sometimes not a blessing at all.
When I had braces to straighten my teeth so many years ago, and they would crank those wires so tight back then that my jaw and teeth would pain me, my mother would look at me with such sympathy and love.
When I was sixteen and in high school, I had to undergo two operations at the same time. Was my mother there and praying for me? You know she was. When I began to date and my mother did not think the person I was dating was right for me, her son, do you think she tried to interfere? You know she did.
When I had my first heart attack at the age of thirty-eight, my mother became so upset that she had trouble with her own heart. I could not understand why she did not come to see me in the Concord Hospital; later, I learned that she had had trouble with her own heart.
My mother loved me; she loved all of her seven children. She had so much worry and concern for all of us to be educated and able to face life in a strong and good manner. How many sleepless nights we gave her when we went out at night, or were ill, or were making poor decisions. What a wonderful honor and blessing to have that kind of mother.
Jesus had a mother too – one who dearly loved her son. Do you think she worried about her son as my mother worried and was concerned about me? You know she did worry about her son; it is in scripture. When he was born, do you think she was concerned that people would talk ill about Him and about his mother because she became pregnant before she was married to Joseph? We know she was worried and even angry when He disappeared at the age of twelve, and they left Jerusalem believing He was with them when He was not. Do you remember the story of how they found Him in the temple with the learned doctors?
When Jesus left home to preach of the Kingdom of God, we learn again of Mary’s concern about her son’s actions. When people are calling Jesus insane and out of His mind, does she not go out and seek to bring Him back home? This is only the beginning of Mary’s suffering for her son.
What must it have been like for Mary to know her son had been arrested? What pain must she have felt when her son was lashed and a crown of thorns placed upon His head? What heartsickness must have gripped her as she saw Him stumble with His cross and then watched Him die on Golgotha? What was Mary thinking as Jesus on His cross admonished John to watch over his mother? The words were, “Mother, behold your son; son, behold your mother.”
How wonderful is the Easter story when we find Mary with the early disciples believing in the resurrection of our Lord, her very beloved son. What comfort she must have felt that her son, Jesus, was alive for all eternity.
Mother’s Day is a day to remember and to be grateful to God for our mothers. I am so thankful that I was born to my mother, Etta Irene (Hill) Boyle.
When I was around twelve, I made my mother a box for her beautiful handkerchiefs. My mother always had a beautiful handkerchief with her; she used it sometimes to wash away a spot upon her children’s faces. When my mother passed away, my father gave me back that box and a few of her handkerchiefs. Inside was a note I had written her years and years before her death. I had purchased her a pot of daffodils, and my note just said they were a touch of spring for my mom. When I read that note some fifteen or twenty years later and when I read that note now, how I wished I had given her flowers every spring. I wish, I wish, I had.
Do you remember the love of your mother? Do you think ever of her sacrifices and prayers and concerns for you? Is your mother still living? Will you do me a favor? Please send her flowers every springtime!
Just this we pray, O loving God, thank You, thank You for mother’s love where ever it is found. Thank you, God, for my mother’s love; may I always be grateful for her risking her life for her gift of life to me. Thank you, God, for all Your blessings. Amen.
See you again next week for our walk and until then, “ May the Lord watch between me and thee while were are absent one from the other.”