NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR MOTHER’S DAY, MAY 13, 2018

This Sunday is Mother’s Day; so, Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers and those serving in maternal roles. This will also be Ascension Sunday, commemorating Jesus’ Ascension into heaven 10 days prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. It’s interesting to note that the Greek and Hebrew terms for the Holy Spirit are feminine.

I have never had any struggle with the idea of God having feminine attributes. I have jokingly made that known on several occasions, saying “God is a big black woman. If you ever want to know what she looks like … I have picture of her hanging on my office wall.” That picture is of my late Mother, James Ella Reid Finney. She is without a doubt the closest thing to God in the flesh I have even known. So, I’ve always known that if God is real, if God truly loved me as a parent loves a child, then God was also “Mother” and not only “Father.”

The processional hymn we will sing this Mother’s Day speaks of “When God is like a Mother.” It says:

“Just like a mother eagle, who helps her young to fly,

I am a mother to you, your needs I will supply.

And you are as my children, the ones who hear my voice.

I am a mother to you, the people of my choice.”

It closes by saying:

“Our God is not a woman – our God is not a man.

Our God is both and neither, our God is I who Am

From all the roles that bind us, our God has set us free.

What freedom does God gives us? The Freedom just to be”.

As we honor Mothers and those serving in maternal roles, let’s stretch our imaginations to include images of God as the Divine Feminine, who loves, nurtures, and supports us; seeking to be a Mother to us.

Join us at Covenant this Mother’s Day and Ascension Sunday. If possible bring your Mom with you. My sermon is “When God is like a Mother” based on I John 5:9-13 and John 17:13-19.

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NOTE FROM PASTOR JR FOR MOTHER’S DAY SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. … This is My command: Love each other.” (John 15:12 & 17, NIV)

This Sunday is Mother’s Day! So, I want to take this opportunity to wish all the Mothers and those serving in maternal roles that read this a Happy Mother’s Day.

Growing up, sometimes I thought that the commands of my Mother were outrageous and unfair. As an adult, I found out that practically every one of her commands were spoken to me out of her love for me. (Notice I said, practically every one of them. There were a few of her commands to me that were spoke more out of exasperation with me than love; although I never had cause to doubt her love.)

Not so with Jesus’s commands. We may quibble and struggle with some of the Bible commands attributed to God in the Old Testament; but all of Jesus’s commands are indeed spoken out of His love for us; and also what love can do for our lives.

Someone has said that for many Christians today, “The Ten Commandments” are no longer considered commandments. They are now thought by some to be “Ten Suggestions;” or worse yet, just “Ten Helpful Hints if you happen to like them.” Then there are those who insist the Ten Commandments found in the Old Testament law are not intended to be commands for today. I would seriously challenge that interpretation since when Jesus was asked “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The bottom line is that it seems Jesus is saying the way to live in obedience to the “Big Ten” is by obeying the even “Bigger 2;” living a life of love towards God and others. Some things just don’t need a lot of explanation. Jesus’ command to love one another is one of them. John 15 records it this way: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. … This is My command: Love each other.” In other words, all the explanation needed is “It’s All About Love.”

Join us for worship this Mother’s Day Sunday at Covenant. I’m not going to try to explain this command of love by Jesus any further. However, I will be trying to emphasize it a little bit more of it in a sermon called “It’s All About Love.” J The sermon is based on the scriptural text of I John 4:7-12 and John 15:9-17.