Mother’s Day Message 2020
By Barbara H. Swicegood

I noticed today’s bulletin says I am called the mystery preacher. And I must admit this is the first time I have ever been called “preacher” …nag… maybe or bossy Barb but never preacher.

And you may be surprised to find me delivering our Mother’s Day meditation, so am I.

Today I will be using the term Mother/Father God and HER. The image of God as a loving caring woman has meant a great deal to me over the years. We find this image of our God in Isaiah 66:13 “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you: you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

This past week as I going thru some papers in the little windowless room, I call my study I came across a quote I had written years ago from the book Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon.

When I shared it with Terry he asked if I would share with you today. My initial answer was NO but after he asked me a couple more times, I decided to say YES not realizing he was asking me to do the sermon. This is my first sermon and you are my guinea pigs.

My Mother died when I was 5 years old. I never lived with her due to her health issues. During this time, I lived with several family members who took me to visit her occasionally.

When I was 6, my father who worked as a Merchant Marine took me to NC on a vacation to visit his Mother. Somehow, I ended up staying there and living with her until I finished high school.
My Grandma did not know my Mother or her family and my Father was out to sea. Without talking and hearing about her I feel I never knew her. I must admit I have never felt a close bond to her until the other day when Terry ……after reading the quote reminded me that my Mother Anne Marie Seubert Hopson gave me LIFE!!!

Hey… if it wasn’t for my Mother
I wouldn’t be here today
I wouldn’t have my beloved family
I wouldn’t have the joy of my friend’s hugs and love
I wouldn’t be able to behold our beautiful world

Now, finally the quote:

This is a conversation between a character and her priest in the book, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

“My mother died when I was born. Though I never knew her. I miss her very much. How is that possible?” The priest answered “I suppose there’s a sense in which you did know your birth mother. She carried you close to her heart for many months, you inhaled and exhaled her amniotic fluid, which provided everything you needed for life and good health. Most important, she’s how you got here in the first place and began making a valuable difference in the world. All of that, it seems forges a pretty close relationship.” …. Yes!!! Ann Marie got me here and for this I am so very thankful.

I am thankful, too for my Mother/ Father God who created me.

Psalms 139:13-14 reads

“For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works: my soul knows it well”

We are formed as children in God’s image. Gathered together as a brood under HER wing. United as kindred members of one human family and grateful to be God’s children together. Today we celebrate God’s divine love, as it is reflected in human expressions of motherhood.

I am not a Biblical scholar so I decided to Google women in the Bible and here are a few of the topics I found:

The top 10 most extraordinary Mothers in the Bible

The forgotten mothers of the Bible

Six amazing Moms in the Bible

Inspiring Mothers of the Bible

Four Biblical mothers to remember on Mother’s Day

Righteous Mothers

Eight Blessed Mothers in the Bible

Famous Moms from the Bible

As I reviewed the Mothers listed… 4 women were almost always named.

Mary- Mother of Jesus

Elizabeth- mother of John the Baptist

Hannah- mother of Samuel

And Sarah – the mother of Isaac

Just as in the Bible, we, our church family each have our own Mothers who will always be a part of our lives. I’d love for any of you who wishes to share one word about her with us. Please identify yourself first.

Some of you know I love to sing and I know we sound a bit crazy when we
sing on these calls but anyway, I want us to sing the first verse of For the Beauty of the Earth.

For the beauty of the earth; for the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

In closing I pray our God will hold you in HER loving, comforting arms today today
and during these unsettling times. May we all find peace and strength as we
journey together each day. Amen.

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Peoria, AZ 85345

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First Presbyterian Church of Peoria · 10236 N 83rd Ave · Peoria, AZ 85345-6576 · USA

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