Sunday’s Sermon

Mother’s Day                                   “Blossoms of a New Day”                                   May 9, 2021

I will be reading today’s scripture from The Message translation which goes like this: 10-14 Get up, my dear friend, fair and beautiful lover—come to me! Look around you: Winter is over; the winter rains are over, gone! Spring flowers are in blossom all over. 

The whole world’s a choir—and singing! Spring warblers are filling the forest with sweet arpeggios. Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed, and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.” 

Song of Solomon 2:13-14 (MSG)  

Winter is over! Whoohoo! It is springtime! Spring is a time of renewal…and a time for new life to spring forth.

Seeds which had lain dormant in the ground during the difficult months of winter, begin to germinate in new beautiful flowers and plants…

Animals give birth during Spring, so it’s a time of new life… Birds that had flown away to warmer regions during winter arrive at Spring and their songs fill the air… The weather begins to warm up…The air seems more crisp and clearer…

Genesis 1:1 (NIV) says: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:11-12 (NIV) says:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Our Heavenly Father above created these change of seasons so that life on earth would go on and would be abundant. Spring is a busy time for the farmer, as he sows his crops. Spring brings about a refreshing of the earth. Rain falls and nourishes the earth, and the farmers can begin to plant their seeds – seeds of renewal.

I think that our hearts just feel lighter in the springtime, the heaviness of winter fades away.  Hope springs forth. 

Before being appointed here in this beautiful lakeshore community of Empire, I served for 9 years at the Old Mission Peninsula UMC.  It was March of 2010 and the ground was still covered with bits of snow, but the roads were clear and as we drove up the Peninsula to check out the church where I would be serving, we saw the beautiful homes, the breathtaking view of the bays, the many orchards and vineyards…we were in awe of the beauty of it all.

It was a lovely postcard just waiting to happen. Even with the snow still on the ground, everything was so beautiful. 

The first time I saw the orchards in bloom I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like miles and miles of soft dainty flowers, waiving to and fro in the wandering breeze. White and pink clouds of beauty surrounding once bare trees, their soft lines contrasting with the bright new grass, acres of yellow dandelions and the cobalt blue waters of the bay.

It must have been the springtime which Isaiah had in mind when he wrote, “The trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

All creation is alive in spring. Resurrection life abounds. Job said, “Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud and bring forth boughs like a plant.” Job 14:8, 9

Everywhere I looked, the peninsula was bursting in blooms with the fragrance of promise. The promise of what was to come. Hope blossoming of a new day. 

You can’t see it, hear it, or touch it, but scent is a powerful thing. You know how certain fragrances can take you back to a special time, or a specific memory?  Like the fragrance of fresh baked bread or a cherry pie, hot out of the oven, reminding you of your grandmother’s kitchen.

When I think of the word “fragrance” I think of that which has a pleasant smell – like a flower freshly cut from the garden. There are many wonderful fragrances – like the smell of a freshly mown lawn, the smell of a cornfield in July on a late summer evening, the smell of a farm field after having just been plowed in the spring.

All evoke pleasant thoughts; arouse an inner peace and contentment, a satisfaction with God’s creation, and a comfort in knowing he is out there, Lord over all his creation.

Strange how smells can direct one to thoughts of God – but then God created them that way. 

Nature is a witness of God and the fragrance of the blossoms surrounding us, bring us the hope and promise of the harvest to come.

After a dark winter, where the short, cold days often allow us to forget the light of hope, there is luscious potential for growth and transformation in the flower of fruit giving trees. 

The spring brings the rebirth of nature–new beginnings. The crocus breaks through the ground with purple blooms, the bright yellow daffodils open up in a blast of color after the drabness of winter. The dogwoods and redbuds bloom and birds begin to sing.

Spring awakes us to the notion that the world is complete, even though it seems so broken and empty at times; that God holds nothing back from us, as testified by the stunning sight of blossoming trees, a bountiful gift like the dew.

Just as the withered trees of winter are renewed, we too can be revitalized and given new vision and hope by God’s gift of the explosion of spring blossoms. The sun has come up again. Earth is resounding with His glory. There’s hope again in the blossom of a new day.

As today is Mother’s Day, let us be reminded to celebrate this day as a day that we were given the gift of life by our mothers.  And that no matter what our relationship is or is not with our moms, we have someone who loves us for who we are and is there for us no matter what – because God loves you and there’s nothin’ you can do about it! 

I’d like for us to honor all the women today by lighting a candle for them …  

For those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.  

To those who’ve lost a child – we mourn with you.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food 

stains and those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we appreciate you and we are better for having you in our midst.

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, still birth, abortion, or 

running away—we mourn with you.

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and 

disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – 

we sit with you.

To those who’ve lost their mothers – we grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – 

we acknowledge your experience.

To those who are single moms raising your child/children – we support you.

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – 

we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths.

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, 

we grieve with you.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness

and remember how you hold that child close in your heart.

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –

we anticipate with you.

For all our mothers, we thank you for giving us the gift of life. This Mother’s Day, 

we walk with you. We remember you.

Let us pray…

Heavenly Lord, as we celebrate the beauty of spring and the blossoms of a new day, may we also honor the life you have given each one of us. May we go forth today, bringing the message of hope and new life in Christ to everyone we encounter. Thank you for loving each one of us just as we are. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.