Did you know that Mother's Day is the third most celebrated holiday of the year after Christmas and Easter? In fact, over 145 million cards are sent, $14.6 billion spent on gifts and dinners, 69% of those gifts are flowers, and more long distance calls will be made today than any other day of the year. So I begin this talk by saying, “Happy Mothers Day.” I hope that your day is special.
You may not know the name Anna Javis, but she was the first one to suggest having a national observance of an annual day honoring all mothers because she had loved her mother so much.
At a memorial service for her mother on May 10, 1908, she gave a carnation, which was her mother's favorite flower, to every person who attended. Well, the idea of honoring mothers soon caught on and on May 9, 1914 by an act of congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. He established it as a time for ''public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.''
So, why did God make Mothers? Well, thanks to every worship leader’s best friend: The internet, here is how some 2nd graders answered the following questions about mothers:
Why did God make mothers? The top answers: ''Mostly to clean the house'' and ''to help us out of there when we were getting born.''
Why did God give you Your mother and not some other mom? The top answers: ''Because we're related'' and ''God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.''
What would it take to make your mom perfect? Top answer: ''On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.''
So… there you have it straight from some brilliant second graders!
Now the Bible is filled with some great women who became great mothers. For instance, there was Sarah the Mother of Isaac and Ishamael. Rebecca, the Mother of Jacob. Rachel, the Mother of Joseph. Jochebed, the Mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. These were mighty women of faith that raised young champions for God.
There’s no doubt that mothering is the toughest job that you will ever have and you love almost every minute of it. Today, we pause and say “thanks” for all of your hard work throughout the year. We probably don’t say “thanks” enough.
I read of a husband who was feeling guilty because he had not been very attentive to his wife. He decided to change. On his way home from work he bought a box of candy and some flowers to surprise his wife.
He walks up to the door and rings the doorbell. She opens it, and there he stands, candy in one hand, flowers in the other, singing, "Have I told you lately that I love you?"
Instantly she starts crying, big old tears just gushing out of her eyes. She sobs, "Oh, Harry! Everything went wrong today. We had a leak in the plumbing. The kids were terrible. The house is a wreck. And now you come home drunk!"
In John chapter two, we see an interesting story about Jesus and his mother at a family wedding. We don’t know exactly which member of his family was getting married, but we know that his Mother Mary felt somewhat responsible for the reception. In those days, the groom’s family bore the responsibility for the wedding celebrations.
Now, weddings are generally a big deal. Girls start planning their weddings at what? Age three. At three years old, you were already thinking about it. There are some of you here today that are in the middle of wedding plans and you are starting to feel the pressure of it. How many episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” have you watched?
Wedding Days are huge and in Jesus’ day they were a big deal as well. As a matter of fact, this chapter starts out, it says, “On the third day.” Well, what the third day meant was that Jesus and His disciples had been traveling for three days to get to this wedding.
Back in those days, it was common for people to travel by foot, by camel, by cart, whatever, and they would come from all over the region to a wedding. A wedding was not a one or two hour event. It was a week-long event. It was a huge celebration that involved a lot of eating, a lot of drinking, a lot of dancing, and good times in general. The story continues: When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
I don’t need to tell you that this is a huge problem. They’re at a wedding, and they are out of wine.
So Jesus replies: "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."
In some ways, this may seem sort of rude, but in the original, Jesus is saying: “Mom, you don’t understand. It’s not the right time.” She was saying, “I know that you don’t think it’s the right time, but I need some help.” In their culture to run out of wine at a wedding would damage their credibility in the community. This wedding meant a lot to Mary. She look at the servants and then said, “Do whatever he tells you to do.”
Jesus understands the Old Testament law that says to honor your mother and father…. so He steps in.
He had servants fill large jugs with water and begin to serve it to the wedding guests.
As each cup was poured, as the water was poured into each cup, Jesus worked a miracle in that each cup of water was turned into a cup of wine. This was the first miracle that Jesus ever performed. This miracle was a behind-the-scenes miracle that met a huge need that had popped up at that wedding.
Jesus’ mother needed help. I am sure that he wanted to help. He wanted to make her proud. He wanted to honor his mother.
His mother felt pressure. She looked at Jesus and said, “Listen, you are the Son of God. You have the ability and the power to do something about this,” so when she says to Him, “We have no more wine,” she is just not making a statement. She is asking Him to respond and do something. She is expecting something of Jesus. There was a problem and she needed help.
Some of you are wrestling with problems. You have issues that are pressing in. Your life is spinning out of control.
Do you expect Jesus to do anything in your life this morning? Faith is important. But, this is what you need to know:
Sometimes things will get worse before God makes them better.
We see this principle in the Bible all the time. We see characters in the Bible, who lived this.
• Joseph had to go to prison before he could be exalted to a place of leadership in the kingdom.
• David, who had been promised, “You are going to be the king of Israel.” David, who had been anointed to be the king of Israel, found himself hiding out for his life in cold, dark caves before he was exalted to the place of leadership in the palace to where he would actually lead as the king of Israel.
• Peter, in the New Testament, he had to fail before he could experience God’s grace, and before he could lead 3,000 people to Jesus on the day of Pentecost.
• Jesus, Himself, had to die on a cross before He could be resurrected and we could have that forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life.
Things had to get worse before God could make them better.
A lot of us are experiencing worse things, the worst end. We are out of wine.
After you have run out of wine. After the bonus didn’t come in. After your wife has looked at you and told you are just not good enough again. After your kids have screamed and yelled at you and told you how much they hated you.
After you have suffered a little while, there is a promise, and that promise is this, that God will, Himself, restore you, and what? Make you strong.
The truth, the promise that God gives us is that after we have suffered for a little while, God is going to show up and make us stronger, better. He will make life better, but we have to put our hope and our trust in Him.
Don’t lose hope. What Jesus did at that wedding, he will do for you today, but you have to look to Him.
A lot of us look to solutions in other things. We look to solutions for our financial issues in casinos or credit cards. We look for solutions to our relationship problems in chat rooms or with inappropriate conversations with the wrong people. Don’t go there. Look to Jesus for your solution.
Things may get worse, but remember that, like the miraculous wine in today’s story, Jesus saves the best for last. God’s best is coming. Don’t lose sight of that. Don’t lose hope. His best is coming. Hang on. He’s going to show up.
This miracle is about putting our trust in God, knowing that He wants to show up, knowing that He wants to work in the behind-the-scenes stuff, that He wants to be involved in our lives, working out the miraculous, taking out the stress and turning it into joy.
But we have got to ask, and we have got to listen, and that leads us to this final thought: We have to do what Jesus says to do.
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
And what about us? We’ve got to ask, then whatever He tells us, whatever He speaks into our lives, we’ve got to do it. We must take action.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
In other words, you can come to church. You can say you believe all day long, but if you are not willing to put action to that faith, then your faith is actually dead. You have no faith, so what part of God’s solution are you simply not obeying?
Today’s the day that we begin to obey. Today’s the day that we begin to do, that we respond, that we act. “Because Jesus and the servants obeyed, a miracle happened.” Mary came to Jesus and said, “Listen, they are out of wine. You need to do something about that.”
And when His mother took that step, and said to those servants, “Whatever he tells you to do, do it,” Jesus recognized something at that moment. He recognized that for Him to not respond would have been to directly disobey scripture. You see, one of the ten commandments is very clear, “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.”
And so, He honored His mother, and He worked that miracle. Quietly and behind the scenes, His mother knew it, the disciples knew it, the servants knew it. That was it, but He performed that miracle.
He honored His mother. He obeyed, because the servants obeyed, they filled those jugs with water, because they dipped that water, put it in people’s cups, because of the acts of obedience a miracle happened.
There’s no better way to honor your Mother today, than to put your faith in Jesus Christ and obey Him.