Merv’s Musings – Mother’s Day 2021

Merv’s Musings – Mother’s Day 2021

This Sunday is Mother’s Day.  A day set aside to acknowledge Mothers.  Mothers who have been there for us; encouraged us; helped us; and got us through the trials and tribulations of life.  As a good friend said one time about teenagers: “Just get them through, whatever it takes, just get them through”! For those of us whose Mom just got us through!

We say … Thanks Mom.

Each year I try to figure out what I shall buy my Mom for Mother’s Day and I always go back to flowers.  This year once again with Covid 19 protocols it is difficult.  So, flowers it is.

Recently I heard of three sons who were trying to find the perfect gift for their Mom.  These Three sons, were very successful, they discussed the gifts they gave their elderly mother on Mother’s Day.

The first said, “I built a big house for our mother.”
The second said,” I sent her a Mercedes.”
The third said, “I’ve got you, both beat.  You know how Mom enjoys the Bible, and you know she can’t see very well.  I sent her a parrot that can recite the entire Bible.  It took 20 monks in a monastery 12 years to teach him.  I had to pledge to contribute $100,000.00 a year for 10 years, but it was worth it.  Mom just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.”  Soon thereafter, Mom mailed her letters of thanks:

She wrote the first son, “Michael, the house you built is too large.  I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house.”She wrote the second son, “Marvin, I’m nearly blind so I can’t drive.  I stay home all the time, so I never use the Mercedes.””Dearest Melvin,” she wrote to her third son, “You were the only son to have the good sense to know what your mother likes.  That chicken was delicious!

My Mom turns 102 this August.  Interesting, over the years I have not considered her elderly.  However, this month she begins another chapter in her life.  She is moving into a Nursing Home in British Columbia.  She has been so independent over these last 50 years since my Dad died.  As I look back on her life, I see she has been one of those inspirational type Moms.  Never a mountain too big.  Nor A challenge too great.  In my growing up years she was the Tony Robbins of my life. 

If you put your mind to it … You can do it.  If you think it … you can do it!

She grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan.  She didn’t have the opportunity to go to high school.  This was something that she always regretted.  She worked on the family farm until she got married.  Moved to another farm with my Dad and they worked as partners to make a very successful living.  They sold the farm and moved to town.  As she met new friends she realized she was the only one who didn’t have a high school diploma.  So, she began taking correspondence courses.  Night after night for years she would be at the kitchen table reading, studying and eventually received her grade 12 diploma.  We moved to Regina. There she once again thought she was missing something as her new neighbours spoke of their college and university experiences.  She was often asked to say a few words at meetings and decided to improve her speaking abilities and began attending Toast Masters, where she excelled … always learning, always improving herself.

After my Dad died, she moved to Vancouver.  This idea of going to university still on her mind.  She began taking university courses at Simon Fraser University.  She began travelling around the world with Elder’s Hostel.  Into her 80’s she started teaching English as Alternative Language to new immigrants.  Some of these students continued to stop over to her house for tea years after the course was completed.  Always improving herself.  A thirst for knowledge, for travel,

Education, and learning always so important.

My Mom placed a high standard of ethical and moral values on her family.  She would often say: You can lose many things in your life, wealth, health but if you lose your name … You lose everything!

As a condition of learning ethics and a moral code, it was important for us kids to go to Sunday School to learn about what is right and wrong. 

And thus began my faith journey with God.  From an early age.

But here is the thing.  For 10 years I went to Sunday school, perfect attendance badges each year. My Mom was the superintendent of the Sunday School.  I learned lots and lots “about” God’s love but it was not until I was 28 years old that I “abided” in God’s love.  I began a personal relationship with Jesus.  I abided in God’s love.

The definition of abiding: “is something that continues for a very long time without changing or wavering”.  The Bible says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!  Jesus love never changes, never wavers.  The word abide is synonymous with 

ageless, continuing, dateless, enduring, eternal, everlasting, immortal, imperishable, lasting, ongoing, perennial, perpetual, timeless, undying

 We may experience the love of a mother but it is nothing compared to the love that abides in us with Jesus.

         “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

I noticed on the internet this week a lot of people talking about what it means to be a “Super Mom”.  My Mom was/is a Super Mom but I also found a website that spoke of Moms as not just Super Moms but Abiding Moms.

But whether we grew up with a Super Mom or have a Super Mom or an Abiding Mom we also know we are not perfect … of course we all know it to be true!  Our Mom’s are or were not perfect.  They maybe Super Moms but they are not Perfect Mom’s

The Bible writers use wonderful picture language or illustrations to speak of the human condition:

For instance, us being like clay pots.

God uses earthen vessels, not the fine china.  He takes simple clay pots and fills them with His glory.  Fragile and flawed, cracked and leaky clay pots are His choice vessels. 

As Patsy Clairmont says in her Book: God uses Cracked Pots, ‘it is within these cracked Pots that Christ’s love abides in us’.

Most of the time these old pots have to be broken before they emit the sweet fragrance of His grace.  God does it through the pressures that come in our lives. 

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8-11New Living Translation (NLT)

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.  We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.  We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

God’s power is perfected in our weaknesses. 

                  When we die, He lives. 

                  When we lose, He wins. 

                  When we are weak, He is strong. 

                  When we are dependent, He is powerful. 

                  When we are tempted, He is triumphant. 

                  When we abide in Him, He abides in us!

Author and speaker Brennan Manning came up with a slogan: ”I am the one Jesus loves.” It sounds a little arrogant doesn’t it?  But he is actually quoting Scripture.  Jesus’ closest friend on earth, the disciple named John, is identified in the Gospels as “the one Jesus loved.”  Manning said, “If John were to be asked, ‘What is your primary identity in life?’ He would not reply, ‘I am a disciple, an apostle, an evangelist, an author of one of the four Gospels,’ but rather, “I am the one Jesus loves.’”

 What would it mean, I ask myself, if I too came to the place where I saw my primary identity in life as “the one Jesus loves”?  How differently would I view myself at the end of the day? 

Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self:  you become what the most important person in your life thinks you are (your wife, your husband, your boss, Father, Mother).  How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible’s astounding words about God’s love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?

Brennan Manning tells the story of an Irish priest who, on a walking tour of a rural parish, sees an old peasant kneeling by the side of the road, praying.  Impressed, the priest says to the man,  “You must be very close to God.” The peasant looks up from his prayers, thinks a moment, and then smiles, “Yes, he’s very fond of me.”

On this Mother’s Day we think of our Mom.  The one who thought very highly of us.  Who loved us with all their heart, soul, and body.  They sacrificed for us; they stood up for us; they hugged and loved us;  who were very fond of us.  If you had a Mom like that you are/were truly blessed.  But even if you did not have a Mom who was the ideal super Mom or an Abiding Mom … you have a God who says that he loves you!  He loves you so much that he would lay down his life for his friend.

         I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you.  As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.  (John 15:9-10)

In Christ:

Rev. Merv Lanctot 

Faith grows in the soil of hope