Friends and Neighbors,

May the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

From the Apostle Paul to his understudy, Timothy:

My dear son, I constantly remember you in my prayers and long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am now persuaded now lives in you also.

It is easy to see from this small paragraph recorded in the New Testament the impact a mother can have on a child. A grandmother and mother provide not only food and shelter, but also the grace of instruction. Timothy was obviously nurtured in the faith of these two women, and later converted to the faith.

The Bible shares many a story about mothers who have played a significant role in our salvation history. The mother of Moses did everything within her power to save her son. God used her efforts to raise up a leader among the Hebrews who would later challenge the power of a pharaoh and lead God’s people to freedom. A woman by the name of Elizabeth loved and nurtured a son who would later become known as John the Baptist. We would be naïve to think that this “voice in the desert” did not demonstrate some of the characteristics of his mother. And we know of the special relationship between Jesus and his mother, Mary. A mother loves her child and a child loves his/her mother.

As we give thanks to God for the one who carried, delivered, fed, clothed, cared, protected, nurtured and loved us and loves us still, I continue to muse over the acceptance speech delivered by Kevin Durant as he accepted the MVP Award for his play this season for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the National Basketball Association. With his mother, Wanda Pratt, sitting in the audience, Durant thanked teammates and coaches, and then added:

“My mom,” started Durant, unable to choke back his tears. “I don’t think you know what you gave. You had my brother when you were 18 years old. Three years later I came out. The odds were stacked against us, a single parent with two boys. We weren’t supposed to be here. We moved from apartment to apartment. One of the best memories I had is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, and we all just sat in a room and just hugged each other. We thought we had made it.

“You made us believe, you kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.” The crowd before Durant responded with a rousing standing ovation.

Durant also spoke about the time when he was frustrated as a high school freshman because of lack of attention from coaches and almost quit basketball. Guess who got in his face and revved him up? Throughout his speech Durant did not mask or hide his Christian faith. It is no mystery as to who imparted the love of Jesus Christ and the grace of the gospel.

In closing, we live in a period of time where things happen so fast that before we know it we bounce from one thing to another. We take too little time to offer thanks for the many blessings we enjoy in life, one of which is our mother. For many of us, she is the real MVP in our lives. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Peace and Grace,

+ Pastor Steve