The Bible has all sorts of stories about mothers. This week we have the opportunity to read some of them. Enjoy!
Monday, May 10
Read Exodus 1:22-2:10
Moses, one of the greatest people in the Old Testament, almost didn’t survive beyond the first year of his life. It was only because of the courage of three women that he lived.
It was a dangerous time. The Pharaoh of the time was extremely upset and threatened by the growing number of Israelite boys. He ordered that all the male Israelite children under two be killed.
Amidst this chilling and frightening decree three women displayed courage to save Moses. Jochebed, the biological mother of Moses, hid Moses in a basket so that Pharaoh and his minions wouldn’t see him. Moses’ sister, Miriam, stood watch to protect Moses from anyone who would threaten him. And the daughter of Pharaoh—the man who pronounced a death sentence on the children—was willing to have Moses nursed by a Hebrew woman. How ironic that Miriam, one of her attendants, was able to maneuver the situation so Jochebed, the mother of Moses, nursed Moses!
Today as you pray give thanks to God for these three women—Jochebed, Miriam, and the daughter of Pharaoh. Their display of courage allowed baby Moses to live.
All of our mothers have displayed courage. Think of a time when your mom was especially courageous
Tuesday, May 11
Read Mark 3:20-35, Luke 2:41-52
It might be easy to think that Jesus had a perfect family life, but this was not so. His family experienced many messes. Once Mary and Joseph lost track of Jesus for three days. Another time Mary and the brothers of Jesus came to take control of Jesus because they were worried that Jesus had lost his balance.
Jesus went on to say at the end of the third chapter of Mark that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35. It had to be painful for the family of Jesus, especially for Mary, to hear these words. Jesus had a higher calling than his own family. He wasn’t as available to his family as his family would have liked. The level of public involvement by Jesus must have caused sadness in his family.
The myth of the perfect family is just that—a myth. All of our families are messy. No matter how we view our family, may we know that the messes in our own family are similar to the messes that Jesus experienced in his family.
Wednesday, May 12
Read 1 Samuel 1:10-11, 19-20, 24-28, 2:18-19
Hannah was an incredibly courageous woman who is a role model for being a parent. She stayed devoted to her husband, Elkanah, even though another of his wives (Peninnah) teased Hannah about Hannah’s inability to have children.
When Hannah was accused by Eli the priest of being drunk, Hannah stood up for herself. She explained that she wasn’t drunk, but instead had been praying in a very deep way. Hannah wasn’t willing to let the false accusation of a religious person define her. She also didn’t let the teasing of Peninnah maker her bitter.
Hannah eventually was able to conceive a child. But even then she was willing to give her child to the Lord. Hannah’s son was Samuel—one of the most famous prophets in the Old Testament. After Samuel stopped breast feeding, Hannah gave Samuel away. He was trained to be a priest.
Ultimately Hannah wouldn’t let other people define her. Her identity was firmly set in God. As you pray today, pray that your own sense of identity can be like Hannah’s—firmly set in God.
Thursday, May 13
Read Proverbs 31:15-30
The writer of Proverbs shared a vision of life as a woman and as a mother. This beautiful vision was written in a culture that did not value women. The main purposes of women at that time were to be a good wife and to be a good mother to children.
Nonetheless, these verses transcend the time.
Enjoy some parts of this vision.
“She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. (verse 15)
She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong (verse 17)
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. (verse 20)”
If you have some extra time today, you might write a similar Proverb about your own mother. What are the qualities about her which you most respect? If you wrote a proverb for her, what would you write?
Friday, May 14
Read Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-4
The passages in Ephesians pointed back to the 4th Commandment. In that Commandment all of us are told to honor our father and our mother.
This commandment has been misused at times to demand that children obey their parents. However, the Commandment wasn’t issued to be used in such an authoritarian way.
One of the tasks of a parent is to earn the honor of their children. If you are a parent, think about what can do to continue to earn the honor of your children. Your children should honor you—most definitely! But they have a choice about whether they will honor you. Their choice will depend on how we love them.
Today as we pray, talk to God about how you can love the children in your life even more. What can you do to earn their honor? If you don’t have children, talk to God about children you know, who you love.
Saturday, May 15
Read Isaiah 49:8-15, Psalm 131
Many images of God are used in the Bible and some of the images are feminine.
Isaiah made the case that God would not forget the people of Israel when Isaiah said this about God:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb?” Isaiah 49:15
The Psalmist wrote about the feminine characteristics of God:
“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.” Psalm 131:2
Gender does not contain God. But we can understand God through the characteristics of our parents—and certainly through our mother.
Reflect today about how your own mother displayed characteristics of God.