Beautiful and Holy Place
1 Samuel 1:10-20
Excerpts from the message: The fifth commandment of the Ten Commandments states, “Honour your father and Mother.” Confucianism, which has a great cultural influence on East Asia, presents the basic ethics of five human relationships call “Oh-Ryun” The first one is “Bu-Ja-Yu-Chin.” This is about the relationship between parents and children, meaning parents must be kind to their children and children must show respect to their parents. Of course, there are some cases of very bad parents in this world. They mentally and physically abuse their children. However, it is clear that most parents try their best to care for and love their children in their own ways.
In 2021, a Korean-American, born to a white father and a Korean mother named Michelle Zauner published a memoir about her mother titled “Crying in H-Mart” which became a New York Times best seller. The book begins with the line, “ Ever since my mom died, I cry in H-Mart.” H-Mart is a popular supermarket chain in North America that specializes in Korean and Asian food. In the book, Zauner describes how she feels emotional when she sees Korean mothers and grandmothers in the H-Mart food court feeding their children, as it reminds her of her own mother.
As a matter of fact, as a child, Zauner was rebellious toward her mother, who raised her differently from the white mothers she knew. Her mother was not a “Mommy- Mom” like most of her friends’ mothers. A Mommy-Mom was a mother who is gentle towards her children, expressing love when they make mistakes or get hurt. However, her mother did not behave in this way. She describes it as follows.
“But every time I go hurt, my mom would start screaming. Not for me, but at me. I couldn’t understand it. When my friends got hurt, their mothers scooped them up and told them it was going to be okay, or they went straight to the doctor. White people were always going to the doctor. But when I got hurt, my mom was livid, as if I had maliciously damaged her property.
I burst into tears when I read this part because her mother’s behaviour was very similar to my Mother’s. Many elderly women in Korea grew up in a challenging socio-political environment. They had to endure difficult times throughout modern Korean history, including the Japanese colonization, the Korean War, the division of North and South, and dictatorships. This is why they had no choice but to raise their children to be strong. As Zauner said, Korean mothers’ care was tougher than tough love.
But Zauner realises later: that was the way her mother loved her and no one ever truly loved her as much as her mother. One of her mother’s expressions of love for her was going to H-Mart with her. There, the mother and daughter had a great time eating Korean food. So Zauner says H-Mart is “a beautiful, holy place” because the store reminds her of her identity and the value of her life by bringing back memories of her mother.
Hannah, the mother of Samuel, was unable to conceive a child. She went to the temple and prayed earnestly to God. God heard her prayer and she had a son and named him Samuel, which means “ heard by God”
Hannah raised her son Samuel to be a faithful believer. She made young Samuel wear an ephod, which was typically worn by priests, and he diligently learned Jewish traditions and teachings. As a result, Samuel was anointed as the highest religious leader of the time, despite not being a Levite. He would have been happy and satisfied to serve as a prophet and priest because the temple and Bible must have been his “beautiful and holy place” that reminded him of his mother’s love and care.
The relationship between mother and child is sometimes very complicated. Misunderstanding and miscommunications often lead to a breakdown in the relationship. However, mothers are the ones who have dedicated themselves so that their children can come to the world. Most mothers do their best in their own way. They are a beautiful and holy place that reminds us of the value of life and the essence of love. They are like our hometown, where we can take off our masks and always return as our true selves. Today, on Mother’s Day, I hope that we have an opportunity to remind us of true love by remembering and honouring our mothers.
Notices: We welcome all those who wish to explore their faith, to join us on Sunday Morning at 11:00 am.
Bible Study with Lectionary: May 18th, Thurs. At 1:30 pm in the Family Room. Please feel free to join us. Scriptures for this week Act1:6-14. Psalm 68:1-10,32-35, 1 Peter 4:12-14;5:6-11, John 17:1-11
UCW Meeting: June 5th at the Morrison Cottage. For carpooling, meet at the church parking lot at 6:15 p.m.
UCW meeting was held on May 8th, Johanna Rowe spoke about A.Y Jackson’s connection to this area and some of his paintings that have come to light since. The Mother’s Day Bouquet was given to Lorna Chiupka. If you would like a copy of the complete service please call the church office.
- Happenings at Wawa First United Church – Trinity Sunday - June 7, 2023
- Happenings at Wawa First United Church – Pentecost Sunday - May 31, 2023
- Happenings at Wawa First United – Seventh Sunday of Easter - May 24, 2023