- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2005

The following are excerpts of a sermon given yesterday by the Rev. Jeff Ling at Clear River Community Church in Centreville.

Today we say, “Thanks, Mom.”

Some of you may have heard the tale of the fellow who found an old bottle. He rubbed it and a genie popped out and offered him one wish. The fellow thought about it and then asked to be given an amazing job in which no man had ever succeeded. Poof — he was turned into a mom.

I want to say thanks to moms who make a difference throughout their children’s lives. Motherhood begins but never ends. My mom is here today, and while I’m almost 50 years old, I can tell you that she still adds so much to my life.

In [John 2:1-11], Jesus and his mother are both attending a wedding. The host is about to be embarrassed because the wine has run out. Something leads Mary to believe that her boy is going to handle it, and she tells the servants to do whatever he tells them to do.

You know the rest of the story. Let’s draw our “thanks” from this encounter.

First: Mom, thanks for staying connected throughout our lives. Jesus is 30 years of age when He and Mary attend this wedding feast. In his adult years, she’s still an important part of his life.

I’m always struck by Paul’s words to Timothy as he instructs this grown man on His responsibilities as a church leader: “I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois.”

That Paul mentions these women by name indicates a familiarity with them. They were probably converted to Christ at the same time as Timothy and they were still connected to what was happening in Timothy’s life.

My parents have turned the practice of letting my wife and I make our own decisions into an art form. If we want their opinion or advice, we have to practically demand it. Yet they have not disconnected. My mom continues to be a source of encouragement and strength to me. I know she continues to pray for me and my family, and she keeps up on what we’re doing. I appreciate that, and I know if your mom does that, you do too.

Second: Mom, thanks for always seeing what I can do throughout my life.

When Mary went to Jesus at that wedding, she wasn’t looking for advice — she knew and saw what no one else at that point even had a clue about.

Moms believe. Moms see the possible. Their encouragement and confidence continue to inspire us whether we’re on the Little League field for our first T-ball game or in the corporate boardroom for our first presentation.

Thirdly: Mom, thanks for never giving up the fight throughout our lives.

The same mother that was at the wedding would soon be standing at the foot of a cross. The same mom who watched the water turned to wine would soon see the wine of Christ’s blood spilled upon the ground.

Moms often face dark moments of pain when things don’t seem to be turning out the way they planned. But they hold on. A mom just doesn’t quit. When Isaiah was looking for an example to express the faithfulness of God, he used a mother. “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you.”

I know that some of you moms here today know what it is to offer the weeping arms of love. You care so deeply and you see such potential, but you see it being sabotaged some way in your child’s life. You may not be able to take that teenager or that adult son or daughter into your arms today, but don’t give up the fight. Wrap your arms in prayer around your heavenly Father. He weeps with you, He hears your every prayer, and He is at work even in the darkest of places.

Moms stay connected. Moms know what’s possible. Moms don’t quit fighting.

And from the bottom of our hearts, we say, “Thank you.”

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