Monday, May 11, 2020

Mother's Day Sermon and Announcements

May 10, 2020

We are going to spend some time together this morning celebrating mothers. I would like to expand that just a little bit by in fact celebrating women whether they are or were mothers or not. I am going to share with you three mothers from the Bible for a few minutes as we see how God has used and blessed mothers as recorded in scripture.

First off, I would like us to turn to Exodus 1. I am going to read the 22nd verse, then continue reading in Chapter 2, verses 1-10. At this time, the Hebrews had become slaves in Egypt. God was blessing them and had greatly increased their numbers, and this worried Pharaoh, so Pharaoh ordered the midwives to throw all the boys born to Hebrew women into the Nile. We see one Levite woman gave birth and hid her boy as long as she could. When she knew she could hide him no more, she came up with a plan. She knew where Pharaoh’s daughter took her baths in the Nile. She would put her baby in a basket and make sure at just the right time Pharaoh’s daughter would find him. She knew Pharaoh’s daughter would instantly fall in love with him because after all he was “the most beautiful baby ever born.” Isn’t that what you mothers and dads think? Isn’t that right Kaylin and Blake? Of course, the plan worked exactly as his mother thought. God had a plan for this boy as well but that is another story. Not only did she save her boy but God in his mercy saw to it that she got to care for her son for most of the early years of his life. What an unselfish love this mother had for her son. She knew if she did nothing he would be killed for sure. But maybe she could not only save him but also give him an incredible future in Pharaoh’s house. You mothers know what sacrifices you have made for your children. God knows it as well. God also knows how important and how difficult the job of being a mother can be.

Let us move on to the next mother. This is the most unique and bizarre story in the Bible. We will be reading with I Kings 3:16-27. As we see an incredibly unique situation has occurred. Two prostitutes have had babies. One of the women apparently did something that caused her baby to die. When she noticed it, it was still nighttime, she switched her dead baby for the other woman’s live baby. We see what happened come morning. The woman whose baby truly was alive realized that the dead baby next to her was not hers. She instantly knew it was not her baby. You are not going to fool a mother about her baby. Somehow this situation was brought to the attention of King Solomon. After hearing both sides, he made a decision. Since both women claimed the live baby was theirs, he decided to cut the baby in half and each mother can have half a baby. The baby’s real mother could not bear to let her baby be killed, so she said, “No give the baby to the other woman”. But the other woman really did not want the baby, so she said yes go ahead and cut him in half. It is the only fair thing to do. When King Solomon heard this he said to give the baby to the woman whom he knew was the baby’s real mom. Once again, this baby’s mother, although she wanted her baby, wanted it to have a chance of life more than anything else. She was willing to give the baby up rather than see anything bad happen to it.

As I have begun to know the women in this church, I have come to realize this is the same way you act toward your children and grandchildren. I have heard many of you talk in glowing ways about them. As we take at least a little time today to reflect on the women who have played such a role in our lives, I would ask your indulgence for a few minutes. I have been blessed to have some amazing women in my life. A loving mom, loving grandmas and aunts, a wonderful mother-in-law. I have been blessed with a wonderful stepmom and also an incredible wife. Each one of these women have been used by God to help me learn and grow. As I have reflected on just some of the special woman in my life, I hope you are thinking of those women God has used to help you get to where you are as well.  As I said at the beginning, this is both a celebration of mothers but also special women in our lives. As I was seeking the Lord on what to share, the Lord reminded me of one special woman who I do not believe ever married or had children. She was my second-grade teacher. Her name was Miss Neff. One day at school I started feeling sick, had a fever, and as I waited for my mom to come to school to get me, Miss Neff held me and comforted me in such a reassuring way that has always stayed with me.

God uses all of you women in such an important way. And all that you do does not escape our God, which leads me to the last woman I would like us to look at this morning. We read about how God’s love for mothers is so powerful. In John 19 we read, 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. We briefly looked at this on Easter Sunday. Jesus (God in the flesh) looked down at his loving mother and wanted to make sure she was taken care of. I am sure his mother had such hopes and dreams for her son. Even though she knew he was special in more ways than one, she, I am sure, never imagined anything like this would happen to her son. Jesus had literally been perfect and did not deserve this in any way. Children are supposed to outlive their parents, but it doesn’t always happen that way, does it? So here is Jesus’ mother doing the only thing she can do, be with him to the very end, letting Jesus know she loves him. And we see Jesus so moved by his love for his mother making sure one of his most trusted disciples takes care of her from now on. Mothers, God loves you. You hold a very special and dear place in God’s heart. We too often do not let you know how much we love you and how important you are. So, I want to say to all of the mothers watching or listening today—thank you, and to all you special women, God sees what you are doing and loves you. The stories we read from the Bible this morning show the special love mothers have for their children. It could have been written about you mothers as well. As we close, once more I would like to say thank you. God sees all the hard work you women do to make our lives worth living. May God continue to bless each and every one of the special gifts of love that you are. I pray that under these most unique of circumstances you will have a blessed Mother’s Day.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine

upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! God loves you and we love you.

See you next Sunday!


May 17: Worship with us on facebook live at 10:00 when Larry gives the message. You can also watch this any time after the session is over. We will worship this way during all of May, or as long as the stay-at-home order is in effect.
Remember to get an Upper Room: May/June issues are still available in the copy room at church. Call Nancy Born-Martin if you are unable to get one, and she will be sure you get a copy. Large print and regular are available. You may also get a PDF copy of the May/June issue of UPPER ROOM on line at

Offerings: Thanks to everyone for keeping up with your offerings! Please continue to either mail your offerings to the church at PO Box 45 or, if you have a key to the church, put it in the donation box at the back of the sanctuary in a properly marked envelope.

Please let Stacie Warren or Larry Traxler know of any supplies you need and are unable to get for yourself. Someone in the church will get them for you.

Let Carol Kussart or Kathy Gentry know if you need a mask.

June 7: tentative date for the Strawberry Festival, in some form, we hope

Cancelled: May board meeting and May council meeting
We will have a board meeting on Wednesday, June 10, if possible.

The Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren made the decision this week to cancel conference in Grand Rapids. All events, theme, and officers will be at the 2021 conference in Greensboro, NC, instead. AC will be in Grand Rapids again in 2024. In working with the Grand Rapids convention people and by agreeing to meet there in 2024, Annual Conference saved over $660,000 in cancellation fees.

First Sunday of the month: Food Banks
Food needs: boxes of cereal, boxes of prepared foods, such as soups, potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly
This month please consider sending The Lord’s Storehouse a monetary donation. The address is PO Box 229, La Place, IL 61936.

Donation Box May and June: Vacation Bible School

--Don’t forget to check mailboxes when you are able.

Keep up on denominational happenings at

Larry Traxler’s phone number: 217-454-2362   

Robin and Chelle Shively have a new address: 5260 E. Harbour Ct, Decatur, IL 62521
Debbie Wilson no longer uses a PO box but her street address that is in our directory.

Keep in Your Prayers
Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Mike Gentry; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; Joe Martina’s cousin who has COVID-19

Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for:
Zola Copeland – 214 E. Fitch St. Forsyth, IL 62535-9668
Anna Rose Larrick C/O Evergreen Place #110
4825 E. Evergreen Ct. Decatur IL 62521
Shawn Cain – 208 West Wait St. Cerro Gordo IL 61818
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL 61832

Other News:

The Piatt County Fair Board made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s fair. It was to have been held June 18-21.

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