Teaching by Example
Scheduled for May 11, Mother's Day
teacher put this question to little James in his arithmetic class.
"James, suppose your mother made a peach pie, and there were ten of you at
the table -- your mother and father and eight children. How much of the pie
would you get?"
replied, "That's easy! I would get one ninth."
teacher contradicted him, "No, no, James. Pay attention!" There are
ten of you. Ten, remember. Don't you know your fractions?"
I do," came the reply from James. "I know my fractions, but you
don't know my mother! She would say that she didn't want any pie."
of us who were raised in Christian homes, especially those in which “mom” was a
stay at home mother, soon learned that Christian charity has its specialties.
It is a rare man (but not unknown, we have one in our class) who will make
dinner for a family in need. It is a common thing for Christian women to take
food to those recovering from surgery. More than that, however, as young James
has illustrated to us, the most common example that a Christian mother shows
her young children is that of sacrifice. It may not be something young
children understand to its depth, but it is unmistakable in its impression.
Mom makes sacrifices for her family.
as we grow older, we learn even more from this. We learn why Mom makes
sacrifices for her family: because she loves them. As my wife and I have
built a home, I have seen the same thing in her. In just the little things of
daily living, it is amazing how much she does out of love. She may be frazzled
at the end of the day, but it’s the frazzle of a human being doing the things
she loves to do. There is a difference between labor and “labor of love.”
seems, therefore, that in our earliest and closest examples of love we learn
this principle: Love means sacrifice. You cannot love someone without
sacrificing for them. It is the way in which the universe is constructed, a
moral principle not to be altered. The coming of our Lord and his sacrifice on
the Cross are the supreme example of that principle. Indeed, how could it be
otherwise? The One whose very character is love comes in the flesh; could he
then avoid sacrificing for the ones he loves, namely, us?
did more than that. He did not just sacrifice for us; he became the Sacrifice
for us. With his own body and blood he became the sacrifice for our sins. In
so doing, he showed us another side of love. Love does not wait for the
beloved to become worthy. A mother with a newborn baby knows that it will take
years just to get to “please” and “thank you.” The smile of an infant is a
joyous thing. A howling little monster who needs his diaper changed, face fed
and a nap is quite another. Mom cannot turn the kid back in at the hospital
Love cannot wait for worthiness.
is our sacrifice, not because we are worthy, but because He loves us. As you
take the Lord’s Supper, remember: He loved you first.