Mothers Day, Families and Jesus

Can be listened to here

Gate Pa – Year B  6th Sunday of Easter,


Psalm                          Psalm 98                                                                 

First Reading:             Acts 10:44-48                    

Second Reading:        1 John 5:1-6                       

Gospel:                        John 15:9-17        


What I want to say:

explore different kinds of family, and what Jesus teaches us through these about our priorities and about God’s love

What I want to happen:

The Sermon

       1.      Introduction:

Today is Mother’s Day

day celebrate mothers

most – fairly easy thing to do

today is good day for many of us

others – today is hard day for all sorts of reasons

day of grief

acknowledging that

happy mother’s day to mothers.

On this mother’s day wonder we can take moment to reflect on families and mothers

so I have three questions

Ü  how would you describe a family?

Ü  what do families offer us and what do we offer families?

Ü  what is the role of mothers in families?


       2.      TMA

on Wednesday I was at a clergy meeting

one pastors said that families were primary image of Kingdom of God

really interesting statement

for two reasons

firstly wondered what meant by family

-          probably mum, dad and some children

not norm for today

story of youth group 30 years ago

       3.      Families

bears no resemblance to what Jesus would called family

idea mum and ad and some kids could be a family would

and would still be shocking

family – dad and um and children, and dads brothers and their wives and their children, and dad’s parents, and maybe their brothers and families, and maybe their parents

ALL the cuzzy bros

this family was all important

defined who you were and your place in life

functioned much same as whanau and hapu does today in traditional Maori communities

Maori pepeha

-          role in life was uphold the honour or mana of your family

o   in Maori families there is that sense of shame or whakamā on whole whanau when one person does something wrong.

-          first loyalty it to these people and supporting these people

o   used teach course at Polytech about community groups

o   one sessions was on culture

o   ask the class what they would do if they won lotto

o   Maori and PI – all about what do for whanau

§  of any left what like for themselves

o   for Pakeha it was all about what they wanted

§  and then give some away for family with left over

all of which sounds great

also can be very inward looking

only need to see and help that part of your family, those associate with your family

Jesus offering something different

story of good Samaritan

who is my neighbour?

looking for particular answer

-          your family and those associated with your family

-          won toks

è Jesus tells story where Samaritan acts as neighbour

-          person not be on anyone’s list of possible neighbours

-          unless you were Samaritan

so as Jesus experienced families

very clear that Jesus would not agree with statement that family’s primary picture of kingdom of god

in fact opposite is almost true

       4.      Today’s Gospel

brings us to today’s gospel reading

part of Jesus last time with disciples

knows about to be arrested and then die horrific death

wants them to hang on to everything he has taught them

offering last teaching

In Jesus world number of different relationship

a.      family

b.      patron client – like mafia don

c.       servant/slave

d.      rabbi(teacher) and disciple

         where disciples lived with rabbi

        listening to what teaching

        eating, sleeping, abluting with rabbi

        learnt how to live out teaching

Jesus disciples spent 3 years learning the life

get feeling that Jesus worried when dies

-          shock of it will send them back to families

-          old ways of living

-          offers an alternative

when gather washes their feet – beginning of his teaching

last week says he is vine and they are branches – and they are to abide in him

this week calls them friends

-          no longer servants/slaves

-          no longer disciples

-          they are friends

-          these friends will replace their families

o   identity

o   loyalty

-          friends wash each other’s feet

-          see themselves as abiding in love God through Jesus

-          rather than just being concerned with themselves and their own group

-          means by which God’s concern and love for all is lived out.

       5.      Rejoice In Feminists

one gifts of last 50 or so years is rise women helped us se stories of women in bible

helped us see the places in scripture where god is described as mother

helped us think about what that means for our understanding of god

how we live out this love we abide in

so on this mother’s day –

as we reflect on Jesus invitation to abide in love

as we hear his command to love one another by washing each other’s feet

invited to reflect on nature of this love we are to abide in

what have you learnt about love of God from love you received from your mothers?

what have you learnt about love of God from being a mother?

how might we abide in this mothers love here at St. Georges?

and as friends of crucified and risen Christ – how are we to love?