I was talking to our daughter Hannah today – wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day – expressing to her how thankful I am for the mothers she and her sisters are. I sent them these flowers, well this picture of the flowers. 🙂
Hannah thanked me for being her mother, which has been a blessing since the day her smile graced this world. I told her I had a wonderful mother who also had a wonderful mother!
Truth be told, I am not sure about the mothers beyond that. My mother’s mother left Sweden in 1920 – by herself – at 16 to immigrate to the United States. Great Grandma Anderson did something I can’t imagine allowing my daughter do at 16 years old – leave on a ship traversing the ocean not knowing if I would ever see her again!
The mothers in my families’ past (as far as family stories go) share one foundational characteristic – faith in God. I have a picture of my Grandmother Barker as a small child on her Grandmother Brant’s lap. It was taken in 1898 and there are white tents in the background. The family is at a church Camp Meeting in rural Illinois. I have Grandma Barker’s Bible and it is well marked and her notes line the margins.
So, I am the blessed recipient of generations of mothers who have lived with faith in God. They certainly weren’t perfect, nor did they have lives void of pain and suffering. Yet by the grace of God they passed on that faith to following generations including me.
The sermon today included the following passage of scripture about Mary, Jesus’ mother. After the angel comes to Mary to announce that she will give birth to the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-45 says
39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
The last verse – 45 – jumped out at me. Why was Mary blessed? “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
Mary wasn’t blessed because she was perfect, more intelligent, better looking, or stronger than others. She was blessed because she had faith that God would do what he said. God told her she would give birth to the Son of God, the promised messiah who would fulfill the covenant made to Abraham. God was faithful to his promise.
I will be blessed and my children and grandchildren will be blessed from generation to generation when I have faith and believe that God will do what he said. That is the greatest legacy I can leave as a mother.