Mary was the greatest mother the world has ever known

Published 8:08 am Friday, May 11, 2012


Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach

The late great gospel singer, Willie Neal Johnson of the Gospel Keynotes, used to sing one of my favorite songs, “That’s my Son hanging on the Cross.” Some of the lyrics to the song were “does anyone have a good mother like me who would stay up all night long to care for her children.”

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As we prepare to celebrate this Sunday, known as Mother’s Day, most of us feel that our mother is the greatest mother in the world. To all who feel that way, it is understandable. I most certainly feel that my mother, Mrs. Hazel Sapp Bivins, 95 years young, still living in Plant City, Fla., is the greatest. I give tribute to her today for being a great mother.

When my father, the late Abraham Bivins, passed away and left four small children, she stayed by our sides and did not abandon us. She took good care of us and kept us in Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church every Sunday. She was a strict mother with love. We could not have playing cards in the house, nor listen at rock n’ roll music. She would visit our schools unannounced.

I call my mother every day, and especially on Sunday mornings before I go to church. Most of the times, she is getting ready to attend church herself when I call her. I never hear her complain about her problems, but she still thanks God that she is alive. She still walks to the store and buys her tube rose snuff and is well known in the neighborhood.

Before going to visit her, I have to make sure I go by Jones Meats in Climax, to buy her some fresh cracklings and cane syrup. Since she is originally from Arlington, Ga., she thinks everything grown in Georgia is better than Florida. She always asks about my former pastor, Rev. T. E. Sanders, because she was there when he licensed me to preach the gospel. Before she gets off the telephone, she tells me that she prays for everyone and loves everybody. That is a great mother and a virtuous woman, as stated in Proverbs 31. She was also a faithful wife to my father. They both showed their love for each other.

The greatest mother the Christian world has ever known was the virgin mother, Mary, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the book of Genesis, Eve was known as the first wife and mother. We know very little about Eve, yet she was the mother of us all. She was the final piece in the intricate and amazing puzzle of God’s creation.

Adam now had another human being with whom to fellowship, someone with an equal share of God’s image, she was someone to walk with him and be his companion, yet different enough for a relationship with a different role and purpose. Together they were greater than either could have been alone.

But her weakness allowed her contentment to be undermined by Satan, the Devil. She acted impulsively without talking to God or her mate Adam. She not only sinned, but shared her sin with Adam, who should have refused. When confronted, she blamed others. Sometimes we do the same thing today instead of taking responsibility for our actions. In essence, she was the first mother, but not the greatest. Eve was typical of us all and we still show today that we are her descendants by repeating her mistakes.

Mary was and always will be the greatest mother the Christian world has ever known. Motherhood is a painful privilege. I observed what my wife Sylvia went through carrying our two sons, Abraham, who is now 21, and Daniel, who is now 19. When Abraham was born, I was away in a WWE wrestling match in Orlando, Fla., but came back quickly and saw my son for the first time. When Daniel was born, as tough and strong as I thought I was, I almost passed out in the delivery room. The nurses had to attend to me along with my wife and baby.

Young Mary, of Nazareth, had the unique privilege of being the mother of the only Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The pains and pleasures of her motherhood can be understood by mothers everywhere. Mary was present at Jesus birth, and also witnessed his death. She saw him arrive as her baby son and she watched him die as her Savior. Until Gabriel the angel came with an unexpected visit, Mary’s life was quite plain and simple, but little did she know her life was about to change forever.

What she heard next was the news that almost every woman in Israel would have loved to hear. She was going to be the mother of the Savior the world had waited for. Mary did not doubt the message, but merely asked, “How would this pregnancy be possible?”

Gabriel told her the baby would be God’s Son and conceived by the Holy Spirit. Her answer was the one God waits in vain for so many of us today: “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

We should all feel that way and be a servant of God. If we did that, we could make the world we live in a better place. Mary’s story is told throughout the Gospel. She is also mentioned in Acts 1:4. She indeed was the greatest mother who ever lived. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

Prayer: “Dear Lord, thank you for mothers everywhere. Please continue to help them carry out your task and serve you with love, faith and joy and give them a special blessing today. Also, bless those who are without their mothers on today. Help them to feel your love. In Jesus’ name.”

The Rev. Adren Bivins Sr., a clergyman, is the founder of Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach Center Inc., a non-profit Bainbridge organization. He can be reached by calling (229) 465-3752 or (229) 416-0476.