First Mother’s Day was the day of Pentecost
Published 3:36 pm Thursday, May 6, 2021
BY PASTOR BRANDON YOUNG
Our first Mother’s Day was the day of Pentecost. On that special day, the church was established by God the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in Acts 2:41-47, “41 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 stedfastly 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.”
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, continues into the medieval period, and, though it may surprise some, was embraced by the reformers. John Calvin quotes Cyprian and refers to the motherhood of the church. Why do we need the church as our mother? First, the mother is there to birth others into the family of God. Isaiah 66:8, “…. For as soon as ZION travailed (labored, struggled, toiled, and applied 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.” We must be born again, and it is the duty of the church to see that others are safely delivered.
In order to give birth to spiritual babies, the mother (the Church) must go through pain as well. The fleshly body will avoid pain whenever possible. It goes against our nature to willingly 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 the pain is well worth enduring to bring life into this world!
The Apostle Paul desired 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 of Galatians, 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, rather than the law.” The Church (the Mother) of today is rapidly losing the desire to give birth to babies because she no longer travails in prayer. 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 on it. The flesh takes the easy road of life rather than the pain associated with giving birth.
Second, the mother church is to nurture the children. Nurture means the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing. We must disciple and encourage one another. 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 must come together as often as we can and love one another, encourage one another, sacrifice for one another, care for one another, and pray for one another! A Godly mother loves her children all the time and presses them to do their very best. The church is not a building; it is a group of people that have the Spirit of God indwelling in them. This Spirit unities them with important and spiritual duties every day. It is not a Sunday activity. “Going to church” is a confusing misnomer: the church mothering exists 24/7. On this Mother’s Day, choose to be the church rather than just attending. Reach out, encourage, and nurture those fellow believers and do your best through prayer, fasting, and witnessing to ensure those without a relationship with the Father are birthed into His Family! I am thankful for the greatest mother in my life: the church!
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton.)