Friday, May 12, 2017

Preparing for Mother's Day

Much as I love my mother, and the idea of motherhood, I find the inclusion of Mother's Day into our churches problematic for all the reasons I've articulated many times.  What does that imagery say to those who can't relate?  What about those who had problematic parents?  What if we are the problematic parents and thus understand far too deeply the problems with this metaphor?  How do these holidays and their inclusion into our church services cause pain for those who struggle with infertility?

I would be fine with discussing the idea of God as Mother, something which might make many of us uncomfortable.

Why are we O.K. with God as Father but not Mother?  I've discussed many reasons why I'm uncomfortable with the idea of God as Parent of Either Gender.  It infantilizes us, and I think God is more interested in a different kind of relationship with us.

How would our theology be different if our denominations stressed this view of God?  How would our Church be different?

The passages of God as fierce mother, or any kind of mother, aren't often proclaimed from our pulpits, so you may be having trouble remembering any of them.  Me too.  And so I did a quick search and found this blog post, which gives this list:

Hosea 11:3-4
God described as a mother

I myself taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him.
Hosea 13:8
God described as a mother bear

Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away, I will tear out your heart. I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal.
Deuteronomy 32:11-12
Pin It
God described as a mother eagle

Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.
Deuteronomy 32:18
Pin It
God who gives birth

You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth.
Isaiah 66:13
Pin It
God as a comforting mother

I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.”
Isaiah 49:15
Pin It
God compared to a nursing mother

Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!
Isaiah 42:14
Pin It
God as a woman in labor

He will say, “I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained myself. But now, like a woman in labor, I will cry and groan and pant.
Psalm 131:2
Pin It

God as a Mother

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.


No comments: