Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day, and while I would love to be spending the day with my mother (especially since I didn't have to work today - a rarity in my world), she is on a business trip in New Jersey. So, I pretty much just called her and wished her a happy mothers day, and the two of us are going to celebrate when she comes to visit at the end of the week. So, instead I grabbed Neola and the two of us went to church this morning and got to grab some lunch together before she had to head over to celebrate the day with her mother. We studied something really great in church and it really made me think about some things in a new light.

Mothers are great influences on us as humans. They teach us how to be kind and caring ang compassionate. They do so much for us, and out of love, that its easy to forget that its work for them. It's easy to take them for granted. The pastor talked about one such mother who was definitely not taken for granted by her daughter in law.

When Naomi moved with her husband and two sons to Moab, Bethlehem was in a crisis. There was no food, but they heard rumors of food being found in Moab. So they set out to leave everything they knew, and people of common background. They left everything but their God and their faithin Him. While there, Naomi's two sons married Moabite women. This went against their practice as Jews to not take on attributes of the "non-Israelites" around them. Their beliefs and practices told the to not socialize with non Israelites, and definitely not to marry them.

While over-simplified, them marrying outside their faith ends up proving to be an important bit of the story. See, when Naomi's husband died, she stayed in Moab for her sons. Then both of her sons died, leaving her with two daughters in law, and no grandchildren. She had no other sons for the girls to marry, and so she decided to head back to Bethlehem, the town she had once lived. She tells her two daughters to go back to their families. After much crying and professions of love, one of her daughters, Orpah, begins to make the journey back to her mother and father. Ruth, however, does not. Ruth, a Moabitess, is determined to stay with Naomi, and she tells Naomi something that while very powerful, is often misused in wedding ceremonies.

"Do not used me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my eople, and your god my God. Where you die I will die, and there will i Be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you." (Ruth 1:16-17)

That is something pretty powerful. It persuades Naomi to take Ruth back to Bethlehem with her and helps her to find a husband in Boaz. Ruth and Boaz had Obed, father to Jesse, who is the father of King David... of whom Jesus is a direct descendant. Jesus. A direct descendant of a Moabitess. Really makes you realize that God does work in myserious ways. For he took a woman, who was not born a Jew, and brought her into a family that had a woman, whose faith was strong. Strong enough to see her through not only the death ofher husband, but of her two sons, who could not have been very old, for neither had fathered a child with their wife. God used Naomi to guide Ruth to a faith in Him. If Naomi, as her mother in law, had not had that faith, Ruth would mostly likely have not been persuaded to leave her family in Moab. She would not have fathered the grand father of King David, and who knows what they would have done to the lineage of Jesus.

Mothers are a constant influence on their children. And only women can be mothers. Science has not been able to make a male a mother, so the title of mother can still only be truly had by a woman. It is one of the most amazing parts of being a woman (or so I hear), and comes with the power to teach our children to have faith in God in all things, and at all times. Especially during the hard times when children view their mothers through a microscope. Naomi's faith brought a desire in Ruth to have a similar faith. My mother's faith in God, and that He would get us through all the hard times we had to go through gave me my faith in God. To trust Him with all things in all times. So, here is a picture of my beautiful mother, whom I affectionally refer to as Yibba.

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