Last Sunday Jesus told us to love one another. Today he continues to talk about love. So, Jesus is the living example of God’s love. It is a love that sacrifices to save us. It is a love that gives us example to follow.
Jesus realized that he would soon leave his disciples. So, he prayed that the Father would care for the disciples. He stated that they were a gift from God - and they belong to God. So, he released them to God’s care.
Jesus is an example for all of us to follow. But today’s lesson has a special appeal on Mother’s Day. Jesus said, “They were yours and you gave them to me.” Mother would agree with the report - that their child is a gift from God. But how seriously do we take that report? Do we know our children and grandchildren as gifts from God?
I have been aware - that my two boys are gifts from God. But there have been times - they don’t seem like gifts. There are times they refuse to cooperate and tried my nerves. I am sure the disciples got on Jesus’ nerves at times. And it was in the garden - when they couldn’t stay awake - just a little while to pray with Jesus.
Our children are gifts from God! They are living blessing from God. They are not our own. They belong to God! We are caretakers of God’s blessings. We are foster parents of God’s children.
If we can remember - that they are gifts from God - then we can give thanks to God - even when they clog up the toilet - and take off their shoes for the fifth time - while you are trying to dress them for school - or make life choice that hurt themselves and others.
Jesus realized that the disciples were gifts from God - and he speaks about how he has cared for them. Jesus says, “The words that you gave me - I have given to them.” Jesus taught them at every opportunity he had. He used common everyday things - to teach the disciples.
As parents - we are called to teach our children – with the words of God. To teach them - that God is their maker - that Jesus showed us the depth of God’s love - by dying for our sins - and the Holy Spirit wants to live in our lives.
One of the ongoing trends in church attendance is - that some people tend to drop out of church - during their young adult years - until they have children. They begin attending church again - because they realize a need for the children to learn of God - and have a bond with God.
Bringing our children to church is just the beginning. We need to know the Gospel too! We can’t teach what we don’t know. So, we need to go to Sunday School - if we want our children to get something out of it. Children also need to see the Gospel at work in our lives.
I remember one day returning to the store - because the cashier gave my mother a ten - instead of a one. I also remember the volunteer work for the Red Cross - and the time she spent just listening to me. Our children need to hear us speaking of Jesus. They also need to see Jesus at work in our lives.
If they hear the words - but don’t see the actions - they will decide that Jesus really means nothing - because we are just paying lip service to him. Jesus said, “For their sakes I sanctify myself - so that they may also be sanctified in truth.” In the same way - we need to sanctify ourselves - as an example for our children.
Jesus gives us example - by simply praying for his disciples. How often do you pray for your children - or for children and young people in the church? Most people only pray for their children - in a moment of crisis. We should pray for them daily! We can’t be with our children 24 hours a day. During those times - we need to surrender them to God’s care - because we are powerless.
It may be difficult to think of Jesus as powerless - but he was - when he surrendered to God’s will to die on the cross. It was by his choice - but he couldn’t be on the cross - and comforting his disciples at the same time. In three days - he was separated from them by his own death.
So, this is God’s love! Mothers love their children - just as God loves us. We often have trouble expressing that love. Jesus has given us a living example of love. In the end - we all mothers included - need to follow Jesus. We should remind ourselves - that Jesus is interceding with God the Father for us too. Shalom and Amen!