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Mothers, God, and Discipline

St. Peter & St. John Lutheran Churches  
Evansville & Ruma, IL

Mon, May 8, 2006 

We honor Mothers this Sunday.  She gave us birth, supported us, taught us.  While she did none of this perfectly, sometimes too harsh (or too easy), God still honors her as His first representative to us.  When she disciplined us, we mostly thought it was too painful.  Yet now we know she was training us to be mature, to be fruitful members of society - and not little heathens running amuck. 

Sometimes when we thought we were in trouble she told us we did nothing wrong.  Christian life is this way too.  Yes, God rebukes our sin.  He disciplines us for our good since He loves us (Proverbs 3:11-12).  But we go too far when we try to connect all things we suffer with some particular sin of ours.  In John 15, Jesus says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."  Jesus teaches that suffering is not always because we have done something wrong.  Pruning often removes completely HEALTHY parts of a FRUITFUL branch.  God prunes us so that there will be more spiritual growth, more fruit for the Kingdom.

Your pain might be telling you God is cutting too deep into your life.  But do not be afraid.  His does not cut to chop you out of Heaven and send you to the fires.  He has already cut off His Son for you.  Jesus suffered for mom's sin too.  Now Christ is risen indeed.  In Baptism, God grafts us onto Jesus, the True Vine.  When Christ appears on the Last Day, everyone attached to Him will also appear with Him in glory.  Therefore say with confidence, "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

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