SERMON TITLE: “Mothers of the Church”
SERMON TEXT: John 20:1, 11-18 (also 1 Samuel 1; Judges 4:4-7 and 5:7)
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: May 13, 2018 (Mother’s Day) at First UMC
I want to begin this sermon by saying, “Thank you,” to all the United Methodist Women who are giving leadership in worship today. Serving as greeters, ushers, song leader, liturgist, mission speaker, recognition-pin giver, preacher, Sunday School teachers, and coffee fellowship hostesses, we women are definitely serving God and the church. Like women of faith throughout history, we are claiming our right and responsibility to nurture and raise up generations of believers in Jesus Christ.
There’s a song in our United Methodist Hymnal called “The First One Ever.” We rarely sing it because, unfortunately, the ballad is drawn out and difficult to sing. But the lyrics convey something important. The first verse tells about “Mary, the Maid of Galilee,” who was “the first one ever . . . to know of the birth of Jesus.” The second verse tells about the Samaritan woman at the well, who was “the first one ever to know” that Jesus was the Messiah. The third verse tells about the women Mary, Joanna, and Mary Magdalene who were “the first ones ever . . . to know of” Jesus’ resurrection. The hymn indicates that these women were blessed by God because of their early perception and belief. Also implied in the song is the truth that we who come to the blessings of Christian faith today do so because of the early experience and dedicated witness of these mothers of the church.1
Since those days when Christian faith was first born, there have been countless other women who have been instrumental in telling and nurturing the good news of Jesus. Because this is Mother’s Day, it seems like a good time to remember and celebrate the many mothers of the church.