Sermon:  Missional Motherhood

Summary:  Motherhood is missional in the sense that as part of kingdom living, motherhood 
is both formational, forming mothers into the image of Christ, and it is inherently incarnational 
for the family.  This reminds us all as kingdom people that everything we do day in and day 
out is inherently missional.  

Know:  Since being invited into the Reign of God, all our practices and routines are transformed 
into missional practices.

Feel:  A sense of renewed purpose even in the mundane things of life

Do:  Reflect on daily activities and how they fit into God's missional purpose.

Text:  2 Tim 1:5

1.  There are times when you hear "Mom?  Mom?  Mom!" and you want to hid
	a.  "I'm not Mom, I changed my name!" - Can you related to that?
	b.  Other times, it is a sweet sound, such as after you have been gone
2.  If God gives you challenges in life to teach patience, or show you are already patient, then 
mothers are truly the most patient people in the world
	a.  I am not being ironic or sarcastic, I think it is the true
	b.  Some days it feels like the patience well has run dry, but there is 
	     always more
	c.  God constructed mothers and reconstructs them when you become a 
	      Christian - Mothers are God's masterpiece
3.  Rom 12:10 - Reminds us to give honor to one another
	- This morning we will honor motherhood
4.  Title:  Missional Motherhood
	a.  This is not a detour from the sermon series
	b.  It fits squarely into what we have been talking about
	c.  (2 Tim 1:5) - Reminds us that motherhood is missional
	d.  Ways that motherhood his missional

I.  It is a Formationial Practice
	A.  God invites the word into his Reign
		1.  Transforms all of life, also personally formed into image of Christ
		2.  Usually hear about how mothers affect & teach children
		3.  However, if forms mothers as well
		4.  Motherhood is part of a kingdom practice that is formational
	B.  Jesus reminds us that we need to be like children
		1.  Mk 9:37 - Receive a child in my name receives me
		2.  Mk 10:14 - Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these
		3.  Mk 10:15 - Receive the kingdom like a child
		4.  That means to be humble
			a.  Recognize that we learn as much as our children do
			b.  They teach us as much as we teach them
	C.  Carla Barnhill - Book: The Myth of the Perfect Mother: Rethinking the 
	      Spirituality of Women
		1.  "Motherhood isn't about the work involved in raising children. … 
		      It isn't a set of tasks for expectations either…"
		2.  "I'd like to suggest that we stop thinking of motherhood as 
		      something we do, or even as something we are, and instead envision 
		      motherhood as a practice through which we ourselves are formed,… We 
		      need to recognize that God uses parenting to form us, to shape our 
		     character, to move us toward being more like Christ.  Our relationships with 
		     our children change us indelibly.  Certainly, we are an important factor in 
		      their spiritual formation, but they are just as important in ours."
	D.  This take the pressure of the need to be a perfect mother
		1.  There no such thing as a perfect mother in the Rein of God
		2.  Motherhood is a spiritual practice and a grace
		3.  It is one avenue of spiritual formation, both for mother and family
		4.  Brings us to our next point

II.  It is an incarnational practice
	A.  What does it mean to be incarnational?
		1.  Jn 1:1-3, 14, 18 - In the flesh, he has "explained" God
			a.  Did not do it by dropping tracts from Heaven
			b.   Through a person living among us, come to know God
		2.  ILL:  The child scared during a storm in bed
			a.  Mother says, "Don't worry God is watching over you"
			b.  But, Mom, I need someone with skin on
			c.  That is what Jesus did
		3.  Jesus demonstrates Reign of God is incarnational
			a.  Engages the world by getting involved relationally
			b.  Demonstrates the heart of God
		4.  That is what a mother does
			-  At a dedication at Harding:  "Greatest thing you will ever 
			     do is tell the story of Christ whether they call you 
			     preacher, or mama." - Bill Lambert 
	B.  As an incarnational practice
		1.  Get down on the level of the people you are sent to
		2.  Do Mom's get down on their level?  
			a.  Can tell a mom, they rock even when not holding baby
			b.  Sometimes, their language changes, talk little
			c.  Mom's can be silly, fun, etc. for their kids
		3.  Mother's have a huge impact
  			a.  That why Kings of Israel have Moms listed by their names
			b.  Even as they get older, Moms still have big impact
		4.  Article:  Reflection from "Flourishing Mother's" Blog --
In the documentary Beyond The Gates of Splendor, there is excellent footage of Elisabeth Elliot and her daughter Valerie living among the Waodani tribe. Valerie speaks of living among the tribe, and believing they were her family. More amazing photos here. I have always had a heart for missions. In my younger days, I loved learning about missionaries, and even pondered being one in my early 20s. God had other plans, but I hope in the future I can do some short term missions. He might have bigger plans, who knows? I'm up for them all. I am not a missions "expert", just a mom who has opinions. I think children should be part of your ministry, whether it be missions or at home ministry. They should be following along behind you, involved in service as much as they can be, learning to minister to others. I love the footage of Elisabeth Elliot and her daughter Valerie among the tribe, because although to the world's eye, it might seem dangerous or irresponsible to bring your toddler to a once vicious tribe, it only seems natural to me. One thing that I have been doing with some ladies from my church and bible study is a nursing home ministry. Once a month, we visit the nursing home, read a children's story, sing, do a craft, and just love on them with words and touch. It's a wonderful way to involve my children in ministry. It blesses both the children and the residents of the home. I firmly believe if God calls you to a specific ministry, regardless the risk, don't you think He will protect you? And if He doesn't protect you in the way you think He should, isn't He in control of all things?
a. Incarnational ministry is all about relationship b. A kingdom mother is a model C. ILL: I remember my Uncle Joe asking my parents about parenting 1. Asked: "What is your secret?" 2. My Dad had to stop and think a. Didn't say anything about a program, method, book… b. He didn't come across as a scholar, expert, etc. 3. Dad's answer: We just love our kids 4. I would say - He loved us with a godly love a. Spent lots of time with us b. It was all in the relationship c. That is incarnational D. We are sent into the world, Children are huge part of mother's world 1. Incarnational in so many ways a. Reach out with kindness to other people b. Take cookies to visitors, involving the kids c. Sending cards to the sick, kids help out d. Showing compassion, the kids see all of it 2. This is missional motherhood 3. Children see and experience the Reign of God III. You May not be a mother A. May not apply to you 1. May be a grandmother, single, a guy 2. There is still an underlying principle here 3. Formation and Incarnation, while demonstrated powerfully in motherhood is not limited to motherhood 4. Motherhood is but one place where these are demonstrated B. The heart of who we are is connected to the Mission of God 1. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, child a. Whether you are single b. Whatever job, function, place you are in life 2. In the Reign of God, all things have been made new 3. Your everyday activities are transformed by the Spirit a. They are now part of God's mission b. Parent, friendships, job relationships, neighbors c. All your relationships reflect the heart of God 4. How would Jesus approach the people in your life? C. Authentic Kingdom Faith is inherently contagious D. So even if you are not a mother, you are still being formed and still called to be incarnational in whatever you do Concl: 1. Motherhood is Missional - God has a mission - Reconciliation of the world (invitation) 2. Motherhood is close to the heart of God a. The nurturing incarnational motherhood reflects God's character b. Of course it reflects it, God created motherhood! 3. This morning we salute motherhood ==================================== Small Group Notes: Missional Motherhood Summary: Motherhood is missional in the sense that as part of kingdom living, motherhood is both formational, forming mothers into the image of Christ, and it is inherently incarnational for the family. This reminds us all as kingdom people that everything we do day in and day out is inherently missional. Open - What was the most prominent memory of the mother figure in your life? - In your opinion, what would be the most important characteristic of the ideal mother? Explore: 1. Since God's Reign affects all of life, when you become a part of God's reign, what are some changes that come in the nature of relationships to family, friends, parents, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, and authorities? 2. (Isa 66:11-13; Mt 23:37) What does the image of motherhood teach us about the nature of God? How does this relate to the way God engages the world? How is the motherhood image of God related to the incarnation? 3. What are some possible ways the attributes and images of motherhood might shape Christian ministry and mission? What are some possibilities on how it might look? 4. What are some ways that serving and ministering to other people shapes the one doing the ministering? Apply: 5. What are some ways you have been formed by people you have known, served, ministered to, parented, etc? What are some things you have learned? 6. What changes have (or should) take place in your relationships when you become a Christian. How do you relationships become missional in the way Jesus demonstrates? 7. In what specific ways can you engage missionally with the various people, acquaintances, strangers, neighbors, friends, etc., in your life? What insight does this lesson give you for this question? Prayer: