Friday, May 08, 2015


Mother's Day is coming up. Yesterday morning at BSF, the woman sitting next to me mentioned that it snowed last year on Mother's Day. I don't remember snow, I remember sick. I was in the throes of horrible morning sickness, my husband was sick, all the grandparents were out of town, and the two other kids (then 3 and 1) still had to eat, be entertained, and have fights broken up. In response, I wrote this blog post, which I was going to re-post this year, but I kept having this verse come to mind:
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
How is this a Mother's Day verse? Simple: moms, at their best, or not, all the time, serve without being served in return. It seems like the essence of motherhood is not to be served, but to serve.

Another one:
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (Phil 2:5-7)
Theologians call this "emptying" of Christ "kenosis," from the Greek for "empty." The whole incarnation consists in God deliberately emptying himself of the privileges of being God (infinite, eternal, not subject to the ravages of a fallen world) in order to serve those same creatures who spawned such misery; and not only to serve, but to save, at the greatest cost to himself.

At the risk of hyperbole, I'm going to suggest that this is when we are at our most godlike, when we are the most empty. Empty of energy, empty of inspiration, empty of self, pouring ourselves out for the good of another. Now, this is obviously not unique to moms. It's dads when they come home from a busy day of work and play with the kids and do the dishes. It's brothers and sisters who deny themselves in order to make a sibling happy or just to keep the peace. It's our pastors and others who serve in the church not tirelessly but still unceasingly. It's the two women in my Bible Study yesterday who told us that they did not have kids of their own, but who are known by everybody as joy-bringers. An empty womb has brought them into close fellowship with, and resemblance to, an empty Christ.

Are you empty? Perhaps you have never been nearer to God. A very Happy Mother's Day to empty ones everywhere.

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