Today is the fifth Sunday in Easter, and it also happens to be the day our country recognizes as Mother’s Day. This duty of honoring mothers flows out of the gospel itself. In the life of Christ, we see Him leading in this as He cares for his own Mother even while He is dying on the cross. And we find a similar image in Galatians where Paul says that the Church is the mother of us all. The Church is the new Eve. Remember Eve means “mother of all the living.” We live in a culture that may have these token days of gratitude to mothers, but by and large our culture dishonors mothers. We dishonor the calling of motherhood, disparage the high calling of bearing children, and of course, frequently, the mother’s convenience is the altar upon which many little ones are slain. But we who call the Church our mother, we who honor Mary as the mother of our Lord, we who bless the faithful mothers throughout Scripture, we who rejoice in the empty tomb, the womb that bore our Savior back from the dead, we must take care that this is not just show, a nice traditional pietism. Some kind of pharisiaism, whereby we measure our faithfulness by the size of bouquet we got mom, the long, flowery, sentimental letter we wrote her, or the tone of voice we use when denouncing the evils of abortion. You should do those things, without neglecting the weightier matters of the law. You should honor your mother today without rolling your eyes at her tomorrow or the next day. You ought to praise your mother today without forgetting to take her counsel seriously throughout the year. You must bless her today without arguing with her during the week. But Christ is risen, the barren rejoices, and God in his grace is reversing the curse, reversing the story. We have embraced barrenness and rejected motherhood in our sin, but the resurrection is God’s answer of grace. He has taken the most barren of all wombs, the grave itself and turned it into a life giving womb. And thus part of the meaning of the gospel is that God is reversing all of our barrenness and turning it back into the fruitfulness and glory of motherhood.
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