Easter 5 – Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017  

John 14:1-14

The women were playing softball.
It was the bottom of the 7th – the last inning of the game – an we were down by one.
The game was the 2nd game of a double-header and we wanted to win but we were down by one and it was the bottom of the 7th inning. The pressure was on.
There was one out.
One out, the bottom of the 7th, down by one, AND THE BASES WERE LOADED.

Our designated hitter stepped up to the plate. She raised right hand in the air (as she did at every at bat). She placed the tip of the bat on the far corner of the plate. She scrunched her feet into position at the side of the plate. She held the bat just over her right shoulder and she looked at the pitcher.

The pitcher looked at the catcher. She nodded her head. She swung her right arm into her wind-up, pitching the ball.

Our designated hitter stepped into the pitch, swinging.

She connected. The ball sailed. The ball FLEW over the center-fielder’s head, and over the fence.

She hit a gram slam homerun at the bottom of the 7th, with our team down by one. We won the game, up by three.

It was the designated hitter’s 20th birthday.

It was poetry.

That story remains one of my favorite stories from when I was college pastor at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. When I remember that day I still feel the tension, I still feel the adrenaline. I still hear the screams and see the joy of the players.

Today is Mother’s Day. (And the 5th Sunday in the season of Easter… for those tracking the Church calendar.)

There are women here today who became mothers a long time ago. There are women here today who have never been mothers, they might have longed to, they might have never really had that dream. There are women here who just became mothers. There are women here for whom motherhood has been difficult, challenging, painful-filled, a frustration. There are women here who have lost their children. There are women here who have tried to have children, and tried, but so far not succeeded. There are women here who are step-mothers. There are women here for whom motherhood was or is the absolutely best thing that ever happened to them.

There are men and women here who love their mothers. There are men and women here who suffered because of things their mothers did or chose not to do. There are men and women here who are estranged from their mothers. There are men and women, children here who live with their mothers, or mothers in law, or grandmothers.

Knowing all of this diversity exists, what do I say on this Mother’s Day? I say: Women—you rock.
Even in those moments when you feel you are at your worst, or weakest—you rock.
WE rock!

When life seems stacked against you, you are down by one in the 7th inning and the pressure is on: you rock! Even if you don’t manage to hit a grand slam homerun. The fact that you are here, you are trying to be the best woman you can be, means you rock!

Jesus said “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
As Christians we hear this call, we know this call, we live this call to love.

Today is a day when we remember, specifically, the women in our lives who have honored that call to love. We love them. We give thanks to God for them. We celebrate their graciousness. We admire their determination. We honor their strength.

I know, not every woman, not every mother is always gracious, or always determined, or always strong. I also know, every woman is always loved by God. And forgiven. And embraced.

As is every man. Every person. Every child.

For this I say: Amen.