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Luke 1:45 (NKJV)
45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Greetings and opening verse
Without looking at your phones.
Have you ever heard the name Anna Jarvis.
Well many of us celebrate, practice, and even believe in things we have never really research.
This past week I did some research on Mother’s Day this past week and I found a very and shocking story about how Mother’s Day began.
In 1872, the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Howe suggested the idea of a special day to be set aside to honor Mothers and celebrate peace, but the idea did not take root until the early 1900’s largely due to a young woman named Anna Jarvis. Anna Maria Jarvis was born to Granville E. and Ann Maria (née Reeves) Jarvis on May 1, 1864, in in West Virginia, the ninth of eleven children.
Ann Jarvis, Anna’s mother, was a social activist and founder of Mothers’ Day Work Clubs. As a woman Ann was defined by her faith, she was very active within the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church community. It was during one of her Sunday school lessons in 1876 that her daughter, Anna Jarvis, allegedly found her inspiration for Mother's Day, as Ann closed her lesson with a prayer, stating: I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.
When Ann Jarvis passed away in 1905, Anna was devastated. She would read the sympathy cards and letters over and over, taking the time to underline all the words that praised and complimented her mother. Anna found an outlet to memorialize her mother by working to promote a day that would honor all mothers, later to be known as Mother’s day.
On May 10, 1908, Mother's Day events were held at the church where Ann Jarvis taught Sunday school in Grafton, West Virginia, and at the Wanamaker’s department store auditorium in Philadelphia. Anna did not attend the event in Grafton, but she sent 500 white carnations. When asked why carnations, Anna replied “they were my mother’s favorite flower. Their whiteness symbolizes the truth, purity and broad-charity of mother’s love; their fragrance, her memory, and her prayers. The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, just as mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mothers love never dying. When I selected this flower, I was remembering my mother’s bed of white pinks.
Mother’s Day quickly caught on because of Anna Jarvis’s zealous letter-writing and promotional campaigns across the country and the world. She was assisted by well-heeled backers like John Wanamaker and H.J. Heinz, and she soon devoted herself full-time to the promotion of Mother’s Day.
In 1909 several senators mocked the very idea of a Mother’s Day holiday. Senator Henry Moore Teller (D-CO) scorned the resolution as "puerile," "absolutely absurd," and "trifling." He announced, "Every day with me is a mother's day." Senator Jacob Gallinger (R-NH) judged the very idea of Mother's Day to be an insult, as though his memory of his late mother "could only be kept green by some outward demonstration on Sunday, May 10."
The backlash didn't deter Anna. She enlisted the help of organizations like the World’s Sunday School Association, and the holiday sailed through Congress with little opposition in 1914.
The floral industry wisely supported Anna’s Mother’s Day movement. She accepted their donations and spoke at their conventions. With each subsequent Mother’s Day, the wearing of carnations became a must-have item. Florists across the country quickly sold out of white carnations around Mother’s Day; newspapers reported stories of carnation hoarding and profiteering. The floral industry later came up with an idea to diversify sales by promoting the practice of wearing red or bright flowers in honor of living mothers, and white flowers for deceased moms.
One afternoon Anna was dining at the Tea Room at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia. She saw they were offering a "Mother’s Day Salad." She ordered the salad and when it was served, she stood up, dumped it on the floor, left the money to pay for it, and walked out in a huff. Anna had lost control of the holiday she helped create, and she was crushed by her belief that commercialism was destroying Mother’s Day. She wanted Mother’s Day “to be a day of sentiment, not profit.”
Anna now soured on the commercial interests associated with the day. Began urging people to stop buying flowers and other gifts for their mothers, and she turned against her former commercial supporters. She referred to the florists, greeting card manufacturers and the confectionery industry as “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers, and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest, and truest movements and celebrations.”
In response to the floral industry, she had thousands of celluloid buttons made featuring the white carnation, which she sent free of charge to women’s schools and church groups. She attempted to stop the floral industry by threatening to file lawsuits and by applying to trademark the carnation together with the words “Mother’s Day”. Both the attempts for trademarks eventually failed. In response to her legal threats, the Florist Telegraph Delivery association, or as we know FTD, offered her a commission on the sales of Mother’s Day carnations, but this only further enraged her.
Anna’s attempts to stop the florists’ promotion of Mother’s Day with carnations continued. In 1934, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp honoring Mother’s Day. They used a painting colloquially known as Whistler’s Mother for the image, by artist James Whistler. Anna was livid after she saw the resulting stamp because she believed the addition of the vase of carnations was an advertisement for the floral industry.
Anna’s ideal observance of Mother’s Day would be a visit home or writing a long letter to your mother. She couldn’t stand those who sold and used greeting cards. She was quoted saying, “A maudlin, insincere printed card or ready-made telegram means nothing except that you’re too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone else in the world.”
She added: “Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card.”
Anna fought against charities that used Mother’s Day for fundraising. She was dragged screaming out of a meeting of the American War Mothers by police and arrested for disturbing the peace in her attempts to stop the sale of carnations. She even wrote screeds against Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day to raise money (for charities that worked to combat high maternal and infant mortality rates, the very type of work Jarvis’s mother did during her lifetime).
In one of her last appearances in public, Anna was seen going door-to-door in Philadelphia, asking for signatures on a petition to rescind Mother’s Day. In her twilight years, she became a recluse and a hoarder.
Sadly Anna spent her last days deeply in debt and living in the Marshall Square Sanitarium, a now-closed mental asylum in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She died on November 24, 1948. Jarvis was never told that her bill for her time at the asylum was partly paid for by a group of grateful florists.
As I started this sermon, I was way off base.
I was going to try to compare Anna’s control issues with ours in relation to God’s will – it didn’t happen.
Friday evening when I got home, I told Brenda I had no sermon for Mother’s Day.
Then as always, my wife and help mate talked to me a little about how it’s not the day that matters it’s the woman.
And so here is what God gave me for you today.
Luke 1:26–45 (NKJV)
Gabriel Announces Christ’s Birth
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
· Mary was a woman of purpose and principles
· She lived by the rules
· Mary was a strong woman – even betrothed she had stayed pure EXPAND
· Mary was a pure woman - virgin
· She was willing to follow the law - Joseph and her were doing things by the book
· Side note: betrothal was a legal action much more than a engagement. It actually took a legal divorce to end a betrothment legally.
28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
· Mary was normal – probably just like any other girl her age a little bewildered, concerned and even afraid that there was some angel in front of her
· Put yourself in her shoes EXPAND
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest;
· Who is this “Most High” EXPAND
· Genesis 14:18–20 (NKJV)
Abram and Melchizedek
18 Then ( Mel - kiz – a – deck) Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
And he gave him a tithe of all.
and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary Miraculously Conceives
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
· I find this somewhat amusing her first question wasn’t, “You mean the Son of God?” EXPAND
· Mary was a practical woman or level headed – instead she asked, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
· Know a man - Luke uses the Greek verb (gin – nos – ko) a common Hebrew euphemism for sexual relations
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest (GOD) will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
· Mary was a woman of faith, obedience, and courage
· She didn’t argue even though being pregnant outside of wedlock -
· she would have been subjected to public shame,
· ridicule,
· or even death
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Mary was a woman of purpose and principles. She stuck to her faith, the rules and honor to her parents.
(side note: explain honor is that you don’t bring shame on your family. It is not that you tell everyone how great your parents are in fact they may be terrible but you are commanded to honor your father and mother and you will receive a long life) THINK ABOUT IT KIDS
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:27)
Mary was a woman that suffered from the same thing we all do – SHE WAS HUMAN. She questions, she has doubts, she has fears.
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Mary was a woman who could think under pressure she was Practical and Levelheaded. 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34)
In spite of the obvious danger Mary was a woman who faced by taking on this role in God’s plan, she faithfully, obediently, and courageously surrendered herself—body and spirit—saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)
MARY’S STORY teaches us a profound lesson: the life of faith is made up of a series of steps that bring us closer to the fulfillment of God’s will, but not necessarily farther from the challenges and struggles involved with moving ahead.[1]
45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”(Luke 1:45)
Lord’s supper
1 Corinthians 11:17–22 (NKJV)
Conduct at the Lord’s Supper
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
· This is the last supper put yourself in their spots EXPAND
· We are to come with pure hearts and for the right reason to remember Christ
The Lord’s Supper is Instituted
Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:23–26
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”[2]
her story teaches us a profound lesson: the life of faith is made up of a series of steps that bring us closer to the fulfillment of God’s will,[3]
Ultimately, the underlying theme of Mary’s story isn’t that different from ours. In agreeing to Gabriel’s announcement, Mary responded faithfully to God’s call and began an extraordinary journey
one that led her not only to becoming the mother of Jesus, but also to becoming His disciple.
Yet rather than allowing fear to overcome her, Mary displayed great courage and faith as she humbly embraced her role as “the servant of the Lord” (Luke 1:38 esv).
In many respects, betrothal in Mary’s day carried a weight equal to marriage. As a legally binding arrangement, a betrothal could be broken only by divorce.
And most significant for Mary’s situation, any sexual infidelity during the betrothal period was considered adultery and was punishable by death under the Mosaic law (see Deut 22:23–24).
When we understand what was at stake for Mary, her calm, courageous surrender to God’s will becomes even more profound.
Imagine what it must have been like for Mary. At the time of Gabriel’s announcement, she is living an ordinary life.
Gabriel greets Mary by declaring that she is highly favored by God (Luke 1:28). While Mary works through her bewilderment over the angel’s greeting (not to mention his stunning appearance in her home), Gabriel delivers his divine pronouncement: God has chosen her to give birth to His Son, the long-awaited Messiah of Israel (Luke 1:29–33).
She spends her first trimester with her relative Elizabeth, the only mother-to-be who could identify with and understand her astounding story (Luke 1:56).
Since breaking a betrothal was a legal action—essentially a formal divorce (see “Setting the Stage”)—Joseph is obviously not convinced by Mary’s explanation that she is pregnant “by the Holy Spirit” (Matt 1:18).
To reassure Joseph that Mary hadn’t been unfaithful, God sends an angel in a dream to confirm Mary’s explanation. The angel declares that Joseph should proceed with the marriage and confirms that the pregnancy originated with God Himself. Joseph also learns that the child is to be named “Jesus” because He will grow up to “save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
The Bible doesn’t say whether Mary considers these threats to her future before surrendering to God’s will. She simply recognizes that the only action she needs to take is to obey.
In the Gospel of Luke, the messianic allusions extend far deeper than Isa 7:14. Gabriel tells Mary that her child will be the “Son of the Most High” who will sit on the “throne of his father David” and “reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32–33).
We know from other passages that Mary often pondered the things going on around her (Luke 2:19, 51), so she probably wondered what would become of her future—her reputation, her betrothal, even her life. In spite of the obvious danger she faced by taking on this role in God’s plan, she humbly and courageously surrendered herself—body and spirit—saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 esv). And she responded not only with obedience, but also with praise.
When called to step out onto the path of extraordinary faith, Mary showed herself to be levelheaded, attentive, and courageous. In accepting the unique blessing God offered her, she put aside her life, surrendered her body, and expressed utter faith and obedience.
Growth from a seed planted.
There are many things we would love to stay unchanged.
For example:
new born calves, little chicks, puppies, they are all so cute.
But then they grow up and their not as cute and fun as they once were.
Anna Jarvis had a vision, a vision that her mother and other mothers would be honored for their lives and love they bestowed on their family.
We are given a job to do for Christ. Often that job turns into something more than what we expected and we lose control and then we get upset or even, like Anna, trying to destroy the very thing God asked us to do.
But why does it bother us that we lost control.
The idea became more about us and what we wanted than about the original reason, which was to serve God.
:the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.
Anna had lost control of the honorable endeavor to honor mothers.
Even though mother’s day grew by leaps and bounds and many wanted to celebrate it differently Anna wanted it her way, the way she originally envisioned it.
I want to look at
People leave a church
Music is not what they like
[1] Grigoni, M. R., Custis, M., Mangum, D., Whitehead, M. M., Brant, R., Barry, J. D., & Vince, E. (2012). Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[2] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 26:26–29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[3] Grigoni, M. R., Custis, M., Mangum, D., Whitehead, M. M., Brant, R., Barry, J. D., & Vince, E. (2012). Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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