Sunday, May 14, 2017
IF MOTHERS RULED THE WORLD
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if mothers ruled the world? Make no mistake—no mother is perfect. I love all that my mother did for me, but she certainly had her flaws. And there are children who have had to grow up with abusive mothers. But I still would like to see what life would be like if mothers ruled the world.
At our Team Ministry meeting on Thursday, when I shared where my sermon was heading, Pastor Robyn mentioned a quotation about what would have happened if three wise women had visited the baby Jesus on the first Epiphany: “Three wise women would have: Asked directions, Arrived on time, Helped deliver the baby, Cleaned the stable, Made a casserole, Brought practical gifts, And there would be peace on Earth.”
Isn’t it striking
that our nation has more military fire power than any nation has ever had, and
yet we have so much fear and anxiety in our society? It has been suggested that
our military has grown weak in recent years. A couple of weeks ago we attended
our son Luke’s graduation from Army basic training in
As powerful and well-trained as our military may be, our most insightful military leaders have come to realize, what most mothers have known for a long time, the most intractable conflicts in our world today will not be solved simply with superior military force.
The roots of Mother’s Day go back to 1870, when Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” sought to establish a Mother’s Peace Day. She had been devoted to abolishing slavery, and she had strongly supported the Union Army. But the bloody carnage of the Civil War had cut deeply into her heart and soul.
In her Mother’s Day Peace proclamation of 1870, she wrote: “Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs . . .
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God . . .” It sounds like Julia Ward Howe had done some thinking about what the world would be like if mothers ruled the world. Some may dismiss her peace proclamation as idealistic or even naïve. But she may have been more in touch with the actual realities of war.
Growing up in
The Civil War in
Finally a group of
Liberian women got fed up. They decided to take destiny into their own hands In
April of 2003, led by Lutheran lay person Leymah Gbowee, they began a
non-violent campaign for peace. The campaign began in St. Peter’s
In a Mother’s Day
2012 blog Nadine Bloch. an artist, nonviolent practitioner, and political
organizer, reflected on the resistance of mothers down through the ages. She was
especially drawn to mothers in
In John 14:6 Jesus
says to his followers: “I am the way, and
the truth, and the life.” He adds in 14:12: “Very truly, I tell you, the one who
believes in me will also do the works that I do.” It seems obvious that
Julia Ward Howe’s peace proclamation, the women for peace in
When the disciples were jockeying with one another for positions of greatness in God’s kingdom, Jesus called them together and explained, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:42–43). In God’s kingdom people rule by serving, not by lording it over others. It sure seems that our chances would be better of Jesus’ way of ruling winning the day if mothers ruled the world?
On Thursday I
attended Ecumenical Ministries of
On Friday morning
I attended the Willamette West Habitat for Humanity Annual Breakfast. We heard
many fine speeches, but once again I was deeply moved by the words of a Muslim
woman, 15 year old Nabila Hersi, a freshman at
Nabila, Sahar, Julia Ward Howe, Leymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Liberian Women for Peace, the Chilean mothers who resisted, and other mothers, grandmothers, and women we cherish and admire all embody in some measure the way of Jesus in the world. What would life would be like if mothers and women such as these ruled the world?
In Jesus’ name, AMEN.