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Life Notes—May 10, 2012

“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”  Exodus 20:12 

When I was young I thought my parents were awesome.  They were so smart and strong always there when I needed them.  As a teenager I thought my parents were lame.  What little they knew was from another era that bore little relevance to my world.  And they were everywhere I did not want them to be.  As an adult I began to realize their knowledge wasn’t as dated as I once thought.  I also understood their presence around me protected me from much I could not see.  However, I never fully appreciated the incredible challenge of parenting until having children of my own. 

In Exodus we are told to honor our parents “so that (our) days may be long.”  This can be interpreted in at least a couple of different ways.  Long days are what the parents of many teenagers experience—arguments, petty bickering, excessive drama, late nights wondering who, what, where and when.  Cosmic justice occurs when challenging children give birth to children of their own—and the grandparents smile knowingly… 

Another interpretation is that honoring our parents is a vital component for a long and fruitful life.  Honoring the role they played in caring for us from birth to adulthood, standing up for us when no one else would, loving us at our most unlovable.  Our parents are our earthly models for God, so honoring good parenting is also honoring to God.  Both masculine and feminine traits were created from God and both are required for a healthy upbringing.  Unfortunately, not everyone has the benefit of strong mother and father figures and must seek to fill those voids elsewhere. 

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day and those providing the vital feminine influences we so desperately need—the nurturing, the gentle touch, encouragement and unconditional love.  Having lost my mother some 18 months ago I will not be calling or sending a card or taking her to dinner.  But she will be near in my thoughts.  When I remember how she filled a God-ordained role in my life I rejoice in her willing sacrifice.  Her influence will be passed to my children, and to my children’s children.  There is an eternal impact to motherhood, which should come as no surprise since mothers are one of the primary vehicles through which God cares for and blesses us. 

Reverend Dennis Ackerman will preach downtown, where Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Mitch preaches at the west campus where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  His sermon is “Agree to Disagree,” based on Matthew 18:14-20. 

Come home to church this Sunday.  Make your mother proud…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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