The greatest mother — the church

Published 8:44 am Friday, May 18, 2018


This past Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day. It is a day to honor those women who have impacted our lives. I am thankful for all the women who had an influence on my life. As I reflected on these ladies, God reminded me of the greatest mother. Now you may think I am speaking of Mary, the mother of Jesus, but in fact, there is another mother even greater; the church of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a closer look at the greatest mother which was created by God the Father.
The church was created on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came into the followers of Christ, every person gathered heard the gospel in their own language, and thousands began a relationship with Jesus. The Bible tells us in Acts 2:41-47, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” These believers became the first church of Jesus Christ, and this church was a creation of God the Father.
St. Cyprian, a third-century bishop, famously said, “No one can have God as Father who does not have the church as Mother.” The symbolism of the “church as mother” is used throughout early church writings. The “house of God” in which the Spirit dwells is the group of people themselves (Eph 2:20-22). It is not a Sunday activity. “Going to church” is a confusing contradiction: the church mothering exists 24/7. Church members are united with important spiritual duties all day, every day, plus Sundays! We cannot just be a church on Sunday! The mother is always on duty! Why would God the Father create a mother church? There are two main reasons.
1. The main function of the church mother is to give birth. Isaiah 66:8, “…. For as soon as ZION travailed (labor, struggle, toil, and apply effort), she brought forth her children.” John 16:21, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”
To give birth to spiritual babies, the mother church must go through pain as well. The flesh body will avoid pain whenever possible. Avoidance is the way of the flesh rather than face and experience the pain like Jesus did, knowing the will of the Father was for Him to go through it. The Bible reveals by the words of God’s own breath that the woman (the Church) will be saved in child bearing. She will not die, though the pain may be extreme and seemingly unbearable at times. The desire to see the son or daughter that has been carried in the womb for such a long time weighs heavy upon the mother to the point of enduring and pushing onward to see the life her heart has desired to give birth to. She concludes that the pain is well worth enduring to bring life into this world!
The Apostle Paul was desirous to bring life back into the church at Galatia when they were sliding back under the law. Paul desired the Spirit of life in the church, not the letter that kills. In verse 19 of Chapter 4, he said, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” Paul was saying, “I am spending my time in agony and pain of prayer for you until Christ prevails in you!”
The church mother of today is rapidly losing the desire to give birth to babies because she no longer travails in prayer nor fasting. She is too busy with life and the fast-paced society to spend time in prayer and fasting for the birth of spiritual babies. The flesh avoids the loss of sleep and food; it’s too painful. The flesh takes the easy road of life rather than the pain associated with giving birth. We need to see the church mother birthing more children into the family of God!
2. The other function of the church mother is to nurture the children. To nurture means the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing. The church should be constantly growing and developing, and the mother must make sure the needs of the children are met. Hebrews 10:25, “No forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” We are commanded to assembly ourselves together, and we must remember that where two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus that He will be in the midst. A good mother does not just meet the needs of her own children but will also look out for those children that are not her own. We as the mother church must assist those not in the family of God in hopes that they will see the need to be a part of the family! To nurture we must: Love one another, sacrifice for one another, care one for another, pray one for another, encourage one another, feed one another the word of God, and comfort one another.
Let’s all pray the we can become a better mother. We need more individuals birthed into the family of God, and we must nurture those in our care. God created the greatest mother on Pentecost, and we the church of Christ must see that she remains that way!
(The Solutions Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene)

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