Hi Everyone! Gen Epp shared her first sermon here as one of our Family Pastor’s and did an amazing job! Some of you were looking to listen to it again – or catch it for the first time in case you missed it. Well here it is! Hope you enjoy!
On Sunday we looked at the story of Jesus and the influence of women on the story of Jesus. And this matters because today in our world we still seem to set the bar lower for women. But the point is that Jesus didn’t – so Christians shouldn’t either. The first person to meet the divine in flesh was a woman – Mary.
The first person to discover that Jesus was the Messiah was a woman – the woman at the well.
The first person to discover the resurrected Jesus and be the first witness to the miracle that changed the world – Mary in the Garden.
The point is that women are central to the story of Jesus. And not just central because Mary, Jesus’ mother, gave birth to Jesus.
Mary did not change the world because she was a mother. I know that sounds controversial but it really isn’t. Mary changed the world because she was obedient and said yes to God. Before Mary was a mother, she said yes to God. That yes changed the world, through her giving birth to Jesus, but birthing Jesus didn’t happen before she said yes.
The point is that Mary matters not firstly because she birthed Jesus, but because she first said yes to God. Motherhood is not the highest calling of a woman in the Jesus story; obedience, faithfulness, and saying yes to God in his various callings is the most important thing.
So that’s what we looked at on Sunday; how important woman were to Jesus’ story. How in Luke 8 we read that women financed Jesus ministry. How Jesus radically included and welcomed women into his ministry. How Jesus bypasses social barrier to remind us that God welcomes each person.
And as we reflected on this reality we shifted to think about ourselves. If women were this central in shaping the Jesus story, who has been central in shaping our personal stories? What woman has supported us, said yes to us, and been faithful to us that made us who we are? Whose investment shaped the direction of our lives?
And after thinking of that we left with one challenge: to go and thank them. To thank them for their prayers, their support, their investment. Whether they happened to be our mothers, grandmothers, aunt, friend, community friend – whatever – to thank those women who made our stories better. Because that’s what the gospels insightfully reveal about Jesus. That women made his story fuller and better, and I can say it’s the same in my life. So why not thank them for that.
Big Idea: Without women there would be no story of Jesus
- Women are central to the story of Jesus.
- Not only are women central to Jesus story, but our stories as well.
- Jesus interaction with women was revolutionary at the time
- “Jesus actions towards women were controversial, provocative, and even revolutionary” Joel Hamilton
- But what we see in Jesus is God available to everyone
- Mary didn’t change the world because she was a mother, but because she was obedient.
- Changing lives begins by saying yes to God.
- God bypasses barriers to communicate directly
- Women matter in this story of God.
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? Had you realized the important role women played in Jesus life before? What women have played an important role in your life? How did they impact and influence you? How can you show them your thanks today?
Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about the importance of valuing the women in our lives. Have them share who some of the important women are in their lives. Decide on a way to show them that you are grateful for them today – and then do it.
Challenge for this Week: Thank those women who have changed us today
And I just don’t mean that without Mary giving birth to Jesus, there wouldn’t be a story of Jesus. I mean without the support, financing, investment, and connection that Jesus has with women there would be no story of Jesus.
So that’s what I want to look at how women shape and influence Jesus’ story, and also ours as well.
But before we get there why not think about that a little bit this weekend. What women have influenced and shaped your life? Not only maybe your mom, but grandmothers, aunts, nieces, school teachers, friends, adopted mothers, co-workers, bosses, or neighbours.
What women have shaped your story and have you said thank you?
That’s a good place to begin before we get to Sunday.
Since I’m not a mom, last year I had my wonderful wife share. It was her first time ever speaking a message at a church, and she did a terrific job. But I also know it stressed her out, and she said once was enough. In fact, she said she had new respect for what I do each week after having to do it for one week!
So I was praying and wondering if I should share, or have someone else share when all of a sudden I had a brilliant idea. Who better to share on Mother’s day…than my mom. So that’s right, my mom, Marion Mills will be sharing on Sunday.
I’m so excited for her to share. Many of you might not know this but my mom is extremely accomplished and a great speaker. She’s spoken at countless retreats, and conferences. She is amazingly talented in her work with mental health, and also in her work with changing global poverty and disability. She is the international chair of cbm, an amazing organization committed to changing lives all over the world. She has been an executive at World Vision, done tremendous ministry locally and globally, and raised three fantastic boys (if I do say so myself!).
So on Sunday we are going to be opening it up for my mom to share. And so if you can join us please do because trust me it will be worth it.
P.S. Also don’t forget to give your mom a gift this Sunday, that means me especially as she is speaking for me!