Happy Mother’s and Son Day!

Grandma and her grandchildren

Grandma and her grandchildren

I had to share this story once again. It makes me laugh every time I think of it and I know the Lord has certainly used this to reveal things to me.

A few years back, when my son was about 8 years old, we went somewhere for Mother’s Day. I had asked him to do me a favor and his response was a simple, “No.” I was shocked as I pointed out, “Hey, it’s Mother’s Day!” Thinking I would get some kind of a guilt response, but it didn’t happen that way. My son, without missing a beat, said, “It’s also Son day!”

Wow, was this quick on the draw or what? I wondered at how long he had spent thinking about this. So witty, yet his ability to rob all attention away for himself, was uncanny. I had to laugh and I also remembered something from scripture.

Today, I shared this with others at church. It seems so appropriate, as my son was sitting a few rows back and he hates having the spotlight on him in a group situation. I know, it’s odd, given the fact that he appears to be rather narcissistic.

But, I spoke about the fact that this little nugget was something that had always touched me in scripture. In the last moments of our Lords life on this earth. There He was, hanging on a cross. As His mother looked at His poor battered and bruised body. I can’t bear the thought, as I think of my own son and just the little bumps and bruises, he’s suffered in his life. I always hurt to see my own children hurting. Whether it is an emotional or physical hurt. Most mother’s cannot help but feel the pain.

In John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son.” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.”

I pointed out that, John,” the one whom Jesus loved,” really means favored. As it is believed that John was only about 14, when he began to follow Jesus. A young boy of great faith, and this is something which our Lord always marveled at. People with faith. This was the difference between him and the other disciples. At times they questioned, and their faith wavered. But John was totally devoted.

Now, when I look out at my son and see him sitting there, I’m thinking of this young man and how Jesus must have felt. A special place in His heart for this love and trust, which John had placed in Him. Why wouldn’t the Lord trust him to take His mother in and care for her, all the rest of her days?

Then, I think about the words and how odd they seem to be at point in time. It is almost strange until you observe closely. It seems to be interjected in His dying process, as if He was saying something mundane, like, “Oh hey, don’t forget the potluck dinner next week. Wish I could come, but hey, John would you mind taking my mom?”

We know from reading God’s Word, that nothing is unintentional and it all has great significance to us. As I sat thinking about this, I realized that our Lord wanted us to see how we are related to one another. The true family of God. It is not birthed by human flesh. It is the spiritual birth which our Lord spoke about when Nicodemus had come to Him. Being born again, of His Spirit, is when we are transferred from the family of flesh, to the spiritual family.

He revealed that this can only happen, when we are standing at the foot of the cross in total surrender and accepting the sacrifice of His blood. Having done this, makes all of us family. We care for one another all the days of our lives. We pray for each other and love and support one another in all things. This we do, because we belong to Him.

So in the end, my son was right. Not only is it, Mother’s Day….it is also Son Day! Thank you Lord for making us family!

“Dear Woman, Here Is Your Son.”

Greater Love Has No Man

Such a perfect Mother’s Day message tucked within the passages of scripture. I was reading one day many years ago, and it struck me as odd. Nothing is written into God’s word without meaning. Not one word. So I read and I had particular interest since I had stepchildren and had been in an extended family myself.  

I had a father who had married a woman who had extreme contempt for his children, however, I had no such feelings toward my stepchildren. I made sure they knew this, and I had such compassion because of the way I had been treated by my father’s wife. I didn’t even feel comfortable referring to her as a stepmother and she didn’t want us to. When we did something kind for her, she returned it with evil. My father was aware of it and he tried to ignore it. He was controlled by her and it was sad.  

Now every Mother’s Day my own son manages to finagle his own day because he reminds me that it is also “Son-Day.” Ever since he coined that phrase, he’s used it against me, and I wonder why he gets a free pass once a week, since I gave birth to him, and yet, I only get a day off, once a year! lol So each year, we throw the barbs back and forth on this day and I told him about this teaching I had found. I remembered it was when my stepson was about my sons age when I first noticed it. 

When I looked at this portion of scripture, I showed my youngest stepson and we were both amazed. He had been recently born again and pretty zealous for the Lord. “Hey,” I said, “I really never noticed this before.”  

John 19:23 “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.(Like the temple curtain) “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”  

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”  

So this is what the soldiers did. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, Here is your mother. From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.  

Now I said to my stepson, here is Jesus, dying on the cross, and He finds this one of His last acts. It is extremely important to Him to appoint His mother and His disciple, John, as family.But why? If this is a picture given in scripture at the foot of the cross, I am assuming that this is something critical to all of us. The Holy Spirit is imparting wisdom from above and showing me that it is not human dna, which makes us family, but the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on that cross, and the faith applied by those who had drawn close, which reconciled those into the family that moment. They were intimate with His suffering as the thief on the cross who had been offered the same reconciliation and rights to the family that very day. 

In a few scriptures previous the soldiers were castings lots for the clothing of Jesus. They were focused on the material. As He said it was to fulfill scripture which had already been prophesied in a Psalm 22 written by David… “they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”  

The reality of what was happening was not the material but the spiritual. The true meaning was found in what Christ was saying with His dying words. In the things which were taking place leading up to the moment and watching the scene unfold. I understood that this was a very important message He was sending humanity. It was a message of reconciliation with His own blood.  

Now it wasn’t as if his mother was all alone. Jesus had other brothers and sister’s who could have cared for Jesus mother. This wasn’t the purpose of Jesus concern or message. So, it would be fair to assume, He must have been trying to convey a powerful point in that act. Yes, many people seem to forget about the siblings Jesus had, although, He had even spoken in future tense that His family “were those who hear the Word of God and obey it.” He knew His mission and would be obedient to carry it out, even to death on the cross. Of course Mary was a virgin at His birth, but she did go on to have other children.  So this was a profound message.This wasn’t a simple, “Hey listen, I’m gonna be gone for a while. Take care of each other.” No, it was a message for every one of us to see. Look at everything He did, and listen to every word He spoke.  

It is a beautiful picture of reconciliation for all mankind. Now it would be a question to ask yourself; Who are you? The soldiers casting lots for something insignificant and missing the most important event taking place right in front of your eyes? Stripping the savior of His clothing and His dignity, with the hopes that you may have an heirloom worth some money one day?A conversation piece to hang on your mantel? Or maybe a picture or video for your webpage? Which one would you be?

Then there would be the very few that have  his heart. His compassion.

 While He looks down through His blood soaked face,in all His nakedness, He joins two people who are totally devoted to Him, and whom He happens to love, together as family.This is what the love of Christ does to humans. There is incredible, omnipotent, eternal  power in the blood.  

Happy Mother’s Day