Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who is the Greatest? An Encouragement to Mothers and Caregivers

Our society has conditioned us to seek status. In our culture this is most often sought through a career - Professional athlete, Doctor, Professor, etc. It is no wonder mothers who have chosen to give up or put less priority on their career (at least for a time) in order to devote themselves to the care of their children are mentally demoted in status. I still find myself fumbling clumsily and shyly to explain (more like justify) that I have chosen to stay home with Karis and not return to full-time work outside the home. I'm so quick to throw in, "but I'm still working from home a few hours," as to try to elevate my status in the hearers mind. It's here again that Christ's confronts our heart attitude and shatters our worldly values for those of His kingdom.

Mark 9:33-37
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

My ESV Study Bible commentary shed some light of these verses that I found so applicable to motherhood (I respect and acknowledge the many other applications this can be made to - teachers, nurses, social workers, etc)

"The attitude of heart Jesus is teaching does not even overlook a lowly child (at times marginalized in ancient societies) but receives, and thereby cares for, such a little one in Christ's name. In contrast to the status-seeking of the disciples in verse 34, Jesus is showing them they should be willingly take on lowly, often unnoticed tasks and care for those who have little status in the world...Humbly caring for people of lowly status out of obedience to Christ ("in [his] name|") will be rewarded by rich personal fellowship with both the Son and the Father."

So an encouragement for mothers and caretakers whose days are filled with unnoticed, meanial task of changing yet another dirty diaper, cleaning up the 20th meal of the week, hauling fussy kids and heavy pounds of groceries through the snowy/slushy grocery store parking lot, your work if done in and for Christ is not only highly valued in God's kingdom economy, but it will also be rewarded by rich personal fellowship with Him! Those who have tasted this sweet fellowship know that no amount of zeros on the end of your pay check or letters behind your name can give your soul this type of satisfaction and joy.