(Editor's note: we apologize that Pastor Lemke's column was delayed due to computer issues in the midst of last week's deadlines for printing.)
Stashed away in a box somewhere in our home is a batch of old 45 RPM records. These were the jewels of my high school years. There's Elvis grinding out: "Hound Dog," Buddy Holly hiccupping "Peggy Sue," and Chuck Berry's "Joyful "Mabellene."
Also stashed in this box are some recordings by the great blues master Jimmy Reed. What is interesting about Reed's records is that sometimes in between his throbbing harmonica and guitar-driven rhythms a faint voice could be heard murmuring the lyrics. Apparently, Reed became so absorbed in his throbbing guitar riffs that he simply could not sing his own songs without whispered reminders of the words.
After watching several new scouts in their outdoor cooking attempts, the scoutmaster asked: "Have you forgotten any essential equipment?" "Yes, I have" replied one scout. "Oh? What?" "My mother."
We need no whispered reminders about Mother's Day. However, some of us still need mother's whispered reminders, but most of us never liked them: "Did you do your homework?" "Did you brush your teeth?" Did you wipe out the tub?" Hang up your clothes." Don't speak with your mouth full." "Don't pick your nose in public."
Let's face it; we never liked those whispered reminders, but we needed them to keep us from making idiots of ourselves in public. In like manner, Jesus knows that when it comes to rules we are notoriously forgetful therefore He whispers: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (Jn. 14:15). Like your mother's whispered reminders the commandment: "Love the Lord your God and love others as you love yourself" (Matt. 22:37-39) is meant to point us towards a positive self-respect that will keep us poised to praise our Creator and to live at peace with one another.
A poem by Virginia McCullough sums up my feelings about mothers and their whispered reminders:
All that I have she gave to me
She molded my destiny;
With loving care she raised me
And gave me a legacy.
She nurtured a love of God in me
How precious that came to be;
For early I found the Savior
And now He belongs to me.
She fostered my love of country
In story and song to me
She gave me a priceless heritage
To live in this land and be free.
Life's richest treasures she gave me;
For such I can never repay
For all that she's given of herself,
God bless her on this Mother's Day.