Acts 13: 15-16a, 26-33 

Psalm 23 

Revelations 7: 9-17 

John 10: 22-30 

“A Holy Family” 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen. 

How many of you have a memory of being separated from  your family? You are with them one moment and the next all of a  sudden they are missing. You are in a shopping center and a toy  catches your attention. You examine it as your parents turn into  the next isle. You look up and they are gone. You look around  and might start yelling for your mom. You hear voices around you  and none of them are familiar until you hear one voice behind you  that you do recognize, your mother’s. 

In today’s Gospel we read, “My sheep hear my voice, and I  know them, and they follow me,” and, “no one will snatch them  out of my hand.” We are all children of God, and at times we may  find ourselves in a situation where we feel that God is gone. We  become like the child who yells for mom, or in dire situations like a  Soldier who is dying on the battlefield asking for their mothers. If  lost we know where to find comfort. The comfort we find in God is  like the comfort a babe finds when it rests its head on their  mother’s breast. When separated there is much anxiety. Now we  know that we who are in the family of God through our baptism  are never truly separated from God, but that does not mean we  don’t feel at times anxiety believing that God has abandoned us.  So we yell for God and like the mother in my example, God does  speak to us. As we listen to the world we may not catch God’s 

voice reaching out to us initially, but eventually we do hear God’s  voice. And when we hear His voice, it is easy to distinguish it from  all other voices for we are his sheep and he our shepherd, we  hear his voice and not only do we know it but we find comfort in it. 

And this comfort we feel, it is indistinguishable. It gives us  strength, the knowledge to know that we are not alone and that  through God all things are possible. It gives us hope, as we  realize the great promise provided by God who not only keeps his  promises but has already fulfilled them. It gives us warmth and  lightens our load and eases our yoke, as we have faith that Jesus  Christ has this in his hands. 

So many people claim that sheep are dumb, and whereas  that is kind of true, they are more animals that extreme faith in  their shepherds. Some sheep have bad shepherds and they are  led astray or are abandoned, but we have a Good Shepherd…  no, the Good Shepherd… in whom we know will never abandon  us nor lead us astray, and thus we can comfortably have faith in  him to guide us, to love us, and to protect us. 

But the comfort we feel goes even deeper, for God isn’t just  our shepherd, but he is also our Father and our Brother. For to us  God the Father is also our great father above who created us and  knew us, who gave us life and a soul at conception. He is the  source of all life and preserves it, and through baptism he is not  some mere fatherly figure but is truly our great father for in  baptism we are adopted into the family of God and have received  the inheritance of Heaven as heirs to the Kingdom.

For to us God the Son is also our Brother who gave himself  on the cross so we would not suffer the consequences of our sins,  and through his death and resurrection we too in our baptism die  in his death but are resurrected in his resurrection. Christ is our  King and our Lord, but he is also our Brother and thus with him  we too are princes waiting to receive our inheritance in heaven. 

For to us God the Holy Spirit is the one who makes this all  possible for without the Spirit who is the source of our faith we  would not consider ourselves brothers and sons of God but would  turn away from the kingdom, leaving the family, leaving the sheep  fold. 

We are a holy family; brothers and sisters too each other  because Christ who unifies us is the Brother of all who worship  him and have faith and hope in his salvation. And our family is  vast. It is a great multitude that no one can number. It is a family  that stretches from every nation and age; a family that together worships Christ in washed robes made white in the blood of the  Lamb who sits on the throne as our shepherd. We are a part of  that holy family. 

So there is much comfort for us, us who are members of this  holy family and sheep whose shepherd is truly good. And where  does our comfort come from? It comes from the voice of God. 

Now back to the image I provided in the beginning of this  sermon, of a child yelling for mom. Now we all know that if a  scared child is going to yell for a parent most likely the one they  will yell for is mom. The same applies for a scared Soldiers is 

about to die, between their parents the one they yell for is their  mother. And speaking of mothers it would be amiss of me if I  didn’t speak about motherhood today of all days, Mother’s day. 

Let me begin first by stating that God the Father is not our  mother. To call him “God the Mother, when he explicitly told us to  call him father is blasphemy. But He did create man and woman  in his image, thus we can still look to him to understand what is a  mother. 

Now first and the most obvious, a mother is a woman who  bears a child for the moment she conceives a baby she instantly  receives the divine vocation of motherhood. But I am adopted, I  have a biological father who gave me my genes and one who  gave me his last name and raised me. Between the two the one  who raised me is my father, and not the other. So if the same  applies to a mother, what makes a mother? A mother cherishes  their children, just like how Mary cherished the words of young  Jesus in Luke 2. A mother goes through much agony for her  children most especially during childbirth, but the pain is instantly  washed away as they are overcome with joy upon seeing their  child according to John 16. From the moment of conception a  mother knows her child and will never forget them, Isaiah 49. And  within a household the mother is the source of comfort, Isaiah 66.  

There are more texts in Scripture that talk about  

motherhood, and a massive chunk seem to come from Proverbs,  so here are some more words of wisdom from God about  motherhood. Proverbs 14:1, “The wisest of women builds her  house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” 17: 25, “A 

foolish son is… bitterness to her who bore him.” And all of chapter  31 is good, but here are verses 25-30, “Strength and dignity are  her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her  mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her  tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not  eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her  blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women  have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is  to be praised.” 

What makes a mother is her compassion, her love, and joy  which she finds in motherhood. We find comfort in our mothers  because we now that she cherishes us and loves us and ultimate  finds joy in raising us. It is our mother whom we found comfort in  while we were in her womb as she protected us and nourished us  with her own body. Because we know that our mother selflessly  gave herself up for us in the womb and while we were still infants  we develop a bond that if shaken leads to much anxiety. We love  her because she first loved us and was willing to suffer for us. No  different from our relationship with Christ whom we love because  he first loved us and was willing to sacrifice his own life for our  sake. 

It is always sad when a mother abandons her God-given  vocation for selfishness, whether that is neglecting their duties or  walking away from the household or murdering their child before  birth; for motherhood begins at conception, and to break this bond  is the opposite of what it means to be feminine or motherly or  Christian. Still forgivable, but all the same a sad sinful state of 

which the Devil seems to have succeeded in encouraging our  nation to praise. For such creates great misery for the mother  whose source of joy she has severed. 

But likewise, it is equally tormenting when the one who  severs such bonds comes from us their children. A foolish son is  bitterness to their mothers, for seeing their son succeed brings  them joy while seeing their son suffer, especially at their own  hands, caused them great agony as they start questioning their  parental skills and such. Whereas unexpected mothers need to  obey the fifth commandment, we their child need to obey the  fourth commandment. 

So on this Mother’s day, let us obey the fourth by honoring  our mothers, and letting all mothers know that they are honored  for acting upon their devotion of motherhood. Let us be a source  of joy for them by not only letting know we love them but by also  doing good, in the same manner we are a source of joy for God  the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit when we pray and give praise to  Him while also doing good. 

Let us give thanks to God almighty for mothers, 


Dear Heavenly Father, you have blessed the family and  have provided to each a mother, for without such none of us  would be here today. Help us to give the mothers in our lives the  appreciation they need to find joy in motherhood. In your name  we pray: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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