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Mothers of the Church

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! Luke 1:45 NIV

On this Mother’s Day, let us pause and honor the mighty women of the church—the unsung heroes who have shaped our faith and carried Christ’s compassion. For many years, while men stood in the pulpits. The women were the backbone of the church. Traditionally, from their ranks have come the prayer warriors and the face of the church. While it may have been the male preacher who stood at the front/ The women in the pews were its beating heart—serving as Sunday School teachers, choir members, and those who carried Christ's compassion outside the doors. Fortunately, in recent times, more women have shared their talents in the pulpit; predominantly, women remain the church’s lifeblood. While not all may be earthly mothers, many have served to foster and nurture others in the faith.

While women in the Bible are not often mentioned or named, they have a prominent role when they are. Today’s verse is one such example. It’s about the significant encounter between the two most important women of the New Testament, Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, and Jesus’ mother, Mary. Preceding this verse, but after the Annunciation, we hear the details of their divine connection.

Before the church's birth, detailed in the book of Acts, Luke tells us, “Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Elizabeth continues speaking prophetically as she blesses Mary, recognizing her as the mother of the Lord. Her words affirmed Mary’s faith and the significance of Jesus’ coming. 

But what if there had been no Elizabeth and no Mary? 

Without Elizabeth, John the Baptist might not have been born or fulfilled his prophetic role. John’s absence from ministry could impact people's perceptions of Jesus as the Messiah. John’s message of repentance and baptism would be missing from the Gospel narratives, and the connection between John and Jesus might not have been established.

Without Mary, the virgin birth (conceived by the Holy Spirit) would not occur. Jesus’ humanity and divinity would not be uniquely intertwined, and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies (such as Isaiah 7:14) would be different. The Nativity story would change significantly, including the visitation of the shepherds and the Magi.

In short, Elizabeth and Mary's absence would alter the entire narrative of Jesus’ birth, ministry, and sacrificial death. Elizabeth and Mary played pivotal roles in God’s redemptive plan. Their presence was essential for fulfilling prophecies and revealing Jesus as the Messiah. 

However, God’s redemption plan would still prevail, even if the specific individuals differed. He might have chosen two other women–sorry, gentlemen, you could not fill this role; His sovereignty extends beyond human choices and circumstances. 

Gracious and loving God,

We come before You today with hearts full of gratitude for the women who have shaped our faith, families, and communities. As we reflect on the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth, we are reminded of their unique roles and the blessings they brought to the world.

We lift up all women who have nurtured faith: those who pray fervently, interceding for their families, friends, and communities; the Sunday School teachers, choir members, and caregivers who embody Your love; women who carry Christ’s compassion beyond church walls, touching lives with kindness and grace. We celebrate these spiritual mothers. While not all may be earthly mothers, many have nurtured faith in others. They encourage, mentor, and guide us toward Your promises. Bless these women abundantly, for they play a vital role in Your kingdom.

Gracious God, we thank You for the women who have believed. Like Elizabeth and Mary, they trust that You fulfill Your promises. May their faith continue to inspire generations to come.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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