"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee?" - John 2:4 (KJV)
Jesus' statement to his mother at the wedding feast in Cana appears blunt and rather harsh. "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" What kind of way is that to talk to your mother?
And yet just about all of us who've been blessed to have our mothers alive and with us in our adulthood have experienced some trying moments with them
The relationships we have with the women who carried us, delivered us, nurtured us, protected us, provided for us and then shepherded us into adulthood are wondrously special.
But in our adulthood, our mothers make a shift from being our nurturers and providers to being our coaches and advisors. And our relationship with 'mother as coach' is not as comfortable and cozy as the relationship we had with 'mother as nurturer.'
The women who suckled us as children become the women who challenge us as adults to reach our full potential.
The mother of Jesus knew what was in him, and when she called Jesus to demonstrate his capacity at the wedding in Cana, things got a little testy.
But isn't that what mothers do? They nurture us with affection and then nag us out of our comfort zones. They defend us to the hilt and then push us toward our full development. They love us unconditionally and then challenge us to make the best of every condition we face.
The Church is a mother to all of us. It conceives us in the spirit and gently guides our growth. Then it refuses to let us rest until we have offered our very best.
God, Thank you for mothers: our biggest supporters and our biggest critics. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.