Sermon in a nutshell: “We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:19-28)
Today is Mothers’ Sunday. Mothers are willing to go through any hardship in order to bear and to protect their babies. Children are treasures to mothers. I remember when I was still a growing boy, when I ate meals, my mother used to just watch me eating. I asked, “Mom, aren’t you going to eat?” She replied, “I am already full when I see you eating!” I did not know what she meant. Now, I know how she felt since I’ve had my own children.
I read a poem by E. E. Cummings, “I carry your heart with me.” It seems to me that this poem actually expresses mothers’ love for their children:
I carry your heart with me. I am never without it.
Anywhere I go you go, my dear
I want no world for beautiful you are my world, my true
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you…
So, it was Moses’ mother and sister who, through their maternal instinct, made a basket for the baby Moses in order to save him. I believe that many mothers today have brought Layette Kits for mothers and babies around the world. Our Annual Conference is collecting Layette Kits this year and we will bring what we have collected to the Annual Conference Session this year. This will be like baskets for Moses all over the world. Or, I should say that it would be like a manger for babies all over the world. I can imagine the smiling faces of mothers who receive the Layette Kits. They remind me of the smiling face of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The reason why mothers are so happy and willing to take risks and to go through all the hardships in life is to bear and to protect a baby. Mothers are the ones who can best understand God’s heart. God wanted to be crucified to save all the children in the world. So, I believe that mothers are also the ones who can understand the heart of the missionaries.
In the Bible passage today, Paul and Barnabas were dragged out from the city that they loved and where they tried to share the Good News. Still, the next day, they went to another city, Derbe, and preached the Gospel. Why? Because they wanted to bear newborn babies in the Kingdom of God: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Sharing the Good News is like being pregnant. We have to take risks and be vulnerable. To build up a church is like raising a child. We have to sacrifice everything for the child to grow beautifully. Today, we may not see the fruits but tomorrow we will hear our children saying, “THANK YOU MOM, THANK YOU DAD, we love you!” May God be glorified through our lives!
- Who is your spiritual child that you are now carrying in your womb?
- What would you do to bear the child?