Sunday, May 09, 2010

Peace, Mother

Today's service at ECOOS featured an "Instructional Eucharist." This entailed several interruptions of the regular flow of worship for various "instructions" from our curate. This also unfortunately caused more than the usual number of Episcopal calisthenics for those of us with creaky knees. One good thing that came of all this was a shorter sermon from the rector. He focused on the Collect and John 14: 23-29.

The collect and the reading from John brought Mother's Day home for me.

The Collect for today was,
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

It is not enough that he has given us his son, there is more to come that we cannot even begin to imagine. What has he prepared for us?

John 14:23-29 (NAB) reads,
Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name--he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, 'I am going away and I will come back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe."

I always wish they would include the last two verses of that chapter:
I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me. Get up, let us go.

Thankfully, Jesus continues to speak to us, but we tend to listen to Satan's voice over the Lord's.

Jesus leaves us his peace. He gives this gift to us.

I fused the collect and John's gospel today in my prayers for my mother on this Mother's Day. You see, my mother is no longer able to speak, walk, use her arms, or hold her head up for long, but she can smile, cry, and sometimes get out a "yes" or "no" appropriately in response to a question. She is aware of her situation. She showed infinite patience during my agnostic teenage years. She must have been praying all the while for God to work things out in His own time. She must be drawing on that gift of patience, and saying those same prayers now. This week, I dreamed that she was young again, talking, walking, and doing things for me as she used to do. I had been praying recently that somehow, in her dreams, she might find herself able to do all those things. I also prayed that in her waking hours, she might find peace, that peace that surpasses all understanding. That is the Mother's Day gift I wish for my mother. A peace that I, thinking of her situation, cannot imagine possible except through a loving gift from God. Please join with me in praying for all those who can no longer express themselves, and for all those who are living with losses of function and cognition.
Dear Lord, help us in our attempts to provide comfort to others. When we see this, the condition of your children, we stumble and are lost. Only you can provide for their unspoken desires. Please Lord, bless them and keep them in your loving embrace, and send them your comforter so that their hearts may be filled with love for you. In Christ Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


  1. Beautiful post, UP. Watched my Granny linger in Alzheimer's for many years before she was promoted to glory. But she knew and responded when our kids sang "Jesus Loves Me."

    Praying with you

  2. My prayers are with you and your Mother, UP. Thanks for lifting her up to the rest of us.

  3. I'm so lucky that my mom (80 years old) is still spry and able to be a "mom." My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Pewster, I pray that even as the outer nature declines, your mom's inner nature is being renewed daily toward glory. Blessings on you all.