Change: Sacrifice

Rev. Bonnie Osteen
May 10 Mother’s Day
A Message On Isaiah 49:13-18,1 Kings 3:16-28

Change: Sacrifice

Pastor Doug planned this sermon series several months ago, anticipating possible changes in our lives that may have occurred. Instead, we were met with completely different changes with the COVID-19 arriving world wide. So, these last few weeks, we have been looking at what changes have occurred in our lives, especially with the herald of coronavirus. We have looked at changes in time, physical bodies, growing young and today we are looking at sacrifices.

Definition of sacrifice: “an act of giving up something valued, for the sake of something or someone, regarded as important or worthy.”

Let’s look at the emu. Did you know that the male builds a nest and then the female lays the eggs, and then the dad sits on the eggs for 50 days!! No eating during that time, he lives off the stored fat in his body and loses about 1/3 of his body weight. When the baby emus are born, they stay with the male until they are about 18 months old. For someone who has gained weight during quarantine, I’m going to say that the emu definitely is sacrificing for those little emus.

And today is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day everyone. It’s not only the day that women celebrate being ‘mom’s’, but it’s also the day that we all celebrate our own moms, and other moms that have made an impact in our lives.

Our youngest daughter is celebrating Mother’s Day for the first time today. Last year, Katherine underwent surgery for twin to twin transfusion syndrome at 18 weeks and was then on bedrest until 28 weeks. Then in the hospital for 2 weeks and then gave birth to Jude and Jaxx when she was 30 weeks along. Then she was dismissed from the hospital and Jaxx spent 56 days in the Neonatal ICU and Jude was there for 73 days. Every day, Katherine and Brian would drive to Houston from Friendswood, to care for the babies. So, from the time she had the surgery, until the second baby was brought home, was about 160 days! That’s about 5 ½ months of either bedrest or driving everyday to the hospital. When we think about the definition of sacrifice: “an act of giving up something valued, for the sake of something or someone, regarded as important or worthy”, we can see that they had many days which required sacrifices, and also wisdom. Changes had to be made, sometimes daily.

We all have our stories about ways that our lives have changed which included the need for sacrifices.

Now think about what sacrifices you have made during this time of coronavirus. What sacrifices were made to keep family and friends healthy? What about employment? Or unintentional home schooling? Or wearing masks and social distancing? And these decisions were made with wisdom.

Let’s look at our scripture reading for today from 1 Kings.
King Solomon took the throne after King David, even though he was not the next heir. The scriptures tell us that this happened because it was the will of God. Solomon loved God, even though his priorities sometimes wiggled. Still, God responded to Solomon’s imperfect love and gave him the gift of a reputation that shows him as successful in many ways. The story for today, in many ways foreshadows what is to come later in the book of Kings, with having to divide the kingdom into two parts.

So, here’s the story. There were two women who each gave birth to a son about three days apart. Shortly thereafter, one of the babies did not survive and his mother switched the babies in the night. The next morning, when the other mother was to nurse her baby boy, she discovered that her child had been switched during the night. So, the two women went to King Solomon to find justice. When they arrived, they began to argue about who was right and who was wrong, and who was the ‘real mother.’ The king sent for a sword, and this is what happened next.

1 King 3:25-28
25The king said, ‘Divide the living boy in two; then give half to one, and half to the other.’ 26But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—‘Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!’ The other said, ‘It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.’ 27Then the king responded: ‘Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.’ 28All Israel heard of the judgement that the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice.
The first woman was willing for someone else to raise her child, just so that he would live. And so King Solomon, with the wisdom that God gave him, was able to see that she was the mother to this son.

We are often called upon to make difficult decisions. To put the needs of others above our own.
Mothers have to often make difficult decisions.
We all have to make difficult decisions. With God’s help we can do it wisely.
The good news is that the scriptures promise us that God is with us. As we think about how Christ moves in our lives, I invite you to recite this prayer with me.

Prayer for Wisdom during times of sacrifice:
Dear Lord,
I seek your wisdom. Let me understand, that the heart of wisdom, is found when I rest, only in you. Let me draw upon all my experience, all my knowledge, and then cast it aside, looking for you, only for the mercy, of your beloved son. Let me hear your Word, let me obey your Word.
In my weakness before you, only there will I find, the wisdom of Christ.
Since he is strong, where I am weak, make me wise, oh Lord, by making me humble, by filling me with mercy, Like Jesus, In whom all the wisdom of the universe is found.
In Christ’s name, Amen.

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