“Mother’s Day,” 5/14/06, E5B

His Love Is Perfected In Us
I John 4: 7-21

  have been doing a little “mothering” myself lately, holding our first grandchild in my arms. They hand her to me when she is diapered and fed. That's about it for me. Actually, my “parenting” instincts have come back  as I have held our first grandchild in my arms, who is the exact image of her sweet mother; they have the same nose, and red hair. We just hope that baby Charlotte Hope will one day be as fine a woman as is her mother.

As I was holding our baby on Friday night I found myself singing bedtime songs, as I had done as a young father. I had made up a song for both daughters, Lyn and Candi.  I suppose I will have to write some new lyrics. I began to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak and He is strong.”

Candi and Brian were being relieved by Marilyn and me, as the young parents went out to supper at a restaurant alone. This was their first date in a long time.

 I have participated for these last several weeks in the Divine adventure of parental love expressed in a wonderful way through our dear daughter Candice Hope. Our son in law, Brian Garrison, has been right in there, almost full time, doing his part. Our three week old grand baby knows the sound of her parent’s voice and turns her eyes in their direction when she hears them speak. It is a miracle; this process of birth and a parent’s love.

As we pay homage this Sunday to our dear sainted, or living, mothers, we must give thanks to God for their love, and His love, which has watched over us all of our lives. We need to be especially grateful if our mother is still with us. Sadly, many of us will wear the white rose in memory of our sainted mothers. Mother’s Day reminds us that we would probably failed in life if it were not for out dear parents and parental substitutes.

It is appropriate that Mother's Day rose up out of the churches because parenting is the closest experience of playing God than we will ever have. Parenting is still centered in our worship on this special day. What a joy if you are privileged to sit with your mother in worship this Sunday.

Today’s epistle reading reminds us that love is the key behavioral component in Christian relationships. John the Beloved was noted for his love: He is sometimes called, “The Apostle of love.”  Today’s text begins, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (v. 7, 8)  

John is not saying that divine love is the only characteristic of the reborned life, but that it is essential and the most outstanding attribute.

This great divine love comes as a result of our realization that He first loved us and has sent His son to be the “atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (v.10)  “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and ‘His love is perfected in us.”  (v. 12)

As we have read this text in the context of “Mother’s Day,” it seems appropriate to say that the first experience that we have had with love has been the love of our Mothers.

We will not remember our mother and father cuddling us during those first few months, but we will be grateful for the fact that we grew up as adults knowing the love and care of those who first loved us.

As our daughters grew up they never doubted that we loved them and would give our lives for them. They always seemed to remember the lyrics to Daddy’s special songs that he sang when he rocked them in their nurseries. They still sing them, when I ask them to, in private.

“Perfect love casts out fear.” (v.18)  Our grown children know that we will protect them if needed. That’s just the way a parent loves.  God loves us that same way.

God will be there to comfort us in difficult times. John the Beloved, and later John Wesley, emphasized the “Witness of the Spirit.” Verse thirteen says that the results of His love being “perfected in us is that we know that we abide in Him.” John also says that, “love is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of testing.” (NRSV) I have learned that the Holy Spirit can add new peace and inner victory in our lives, even during the hardest times. God is no fair weather friend.  His love can been made as real as rocks and rain! Although His work in our lives is always on the intuitive and spiritual level it is an experience that we can base our lives on.

I plan to do some extra rocking with baby Charlotte during the next few months. I am going to become a singing rocking grandfather. What little bit I have done so far has been a gift from God.

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit.” (V, 13, NASV)

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
“Mother’s Day,” 5/14/06, E5B