A MOTHER’S DAY DEVOTION
By Rev. Melissa Hinnen
Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down; fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown! (Love Divine, all Loves Excelling by Charles Wesley)
Prayer – Thank you Divine Love for a new day to perfect our relationship with you and with one another. Deepen our faith as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus and honor the mothers and fathers of our faith. Connect us in your love and grace. Strengthen us in mind, body, and spirit so that all that we experience today will glorify you in the name of Jesus. Amen
Isaiah 40:28-31 The Message – Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. The Creator of all you can see or imagine. God doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And knows everything, inside and out. God energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
Reflection – On May 13, we celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. When we look back on how the Methodist movement has shaped our theology and disciplines as Christians, our focus is often on John Wesley and his hymn- writing brother, Charles. I am mindful that the person who most impacted their deep faith was their mother, the mother of Methodism, Susanna Wesley.
Susanna Wesley had 24 siblings—that’s nearly the size of Asbury’s Sunday school. Mrs. Wesley gave birth 19 times but only ten of her children survived. When she needed time alone with God, she put her apron over her head because it was the only way she could find time to separate herself from her children. Before they were allowed to go to work, her daughters were required to learn to read.
When Susanna’s Bible study group became bigger than her husband’s congregation, he asked her to tone it down a bit and she responded, “If after all this you think fit to dissolve this assembly, do not tell me you desire me to do it, for that will not satisfy my conscience; but send your positive command in such full and express terms as may absolve me from all guilt and punishment for neglecting this opportunity for doing good when you and I shall appear before the great and awful tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Her faith transcended societal expectations about her role as a wife and mother. She stood up to her husband’s ego and to the way it had “always been done . . . “God showed Susanna a new way to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. And she passed this spirit of righteousness, right relationship with God and neighbor, onto her children. We are inheritors of that fruit. We are bearers of a theology of God’s grace that is available to all; to every single person who desires to know and love and follow Jesus Christ.
When we stay grounded in who we are and whose we are, we are led by wisdom and courage that is greater than systems and principalities that try to conform us to the expectations of this world.
The prophet Isaiah encourages us: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”
We sing in the words of Charles Wesley: “Jesus thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art; visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.”
Prayer – Thank you God for the mothers and fathers of our faith. Birth in us this day a renewed commitment to stay in love with you so that all who we meet will experience the life giving love of Jesus Christ. Amen