Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Lord's Family

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers both here, and where ever this message is read. Although Mother’s Day is not a universal holiday, it is observed in much of the world. The second Sunday in May is dedicated to honor mothers everywhere here in the USA, and in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Belgium. In Mexico and many parts of Latin America, Mother's Day is celebrated on May 10th of every year. In Thailand, it is celebrated on August 12th, the birthday of the current Queen.

It is pretty clear that mothers hold a special place in hearts the world over. As dutiful wives, career women, or as single mothers, the nurturing role of mothers within the family is the glue that holds families and cultures together. 

Jesus’ mother, Mary, was no different. Even in the patriarchal culture of ancient Judaism, Mary declares her joy in the Gospel record of Luke 1: 46-48 :
“My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” 
All of the Old Testament points to the Savior/Redeemer promised in the early chapters of Genesis. The Torah says the Redeemer was to come from the bloodline of Judah. He would be born in Bethlehem, called back from Egypt, reside in Nazareth, and perform healings of body and spirit. The future of the Israelites depended on these prophecies and looked ever forward to His birth. 

There wasn’t a young woman in all Jewry that did not wish to be the mother to the future Savior of the nation! If they were not of the Tribe of Judah themselves, they could be married to one that was! And for Mary, not only was she of the Tribe of Judah, but so also was Joseph, the man to whom she was betrothed (Genealogies: Matthew 1 and Luke 3).
After His birth, believers everywhere have call her blessed, just as she declared to her cousin Elizabeth in Luke 1, and indeed she is blessed! Out of the sea of humanity, God chose her specifically to give birth to His only begotten (human-born) Son, Jesus! A mother most blessed for sure!

“Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”   - Isaiah 7:14

Today's Audio Message: The Lord's Family"
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was described by God as “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). Chosen by God to be the special vessel out of the sea of humanity to carry and give birth to the Son of God, the promised Savior.

"Highly favored" comes from a Greek word, which means “much grace.” Mary understood that grace is “unmerited favor”; a blessing we receive despite the fact that we do not deserve it. She understood her need for the grace of God, just, as we all should.  Setting the example for us, she directs her worship, adoration, and praise to God alone:

“My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46–49).
Mary would have more children with Joseph, whose names we will discover, along with other family members. Her loving devotion to her firstborn Son, Jesus, as her Lord and Savior would be her eternal reward.

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