"A Mother’s Love"

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he gifted us with what has come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name . . . .” Many Christians use Jesus’ language as proof that God is only properly thought of as a Father, but not a Mother. But the fact that it is appropriate to view God as Father devotionally it does not follow that it is inappropriate to view God devotionally as Mother. When Jesus called God “Abba” (Father), he was making a point about God’s intimacy with us, not about God’s gender.

God loves us as a father loves his children. With this understanding, it is just as appropriate to say that God loves us as a mother loves her children. This is not a new idea, In the third century, Gregory of Nanzianzus, a Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, referred to God alternately as Father and Mother in his writings. If we cannot recognize the legitimacy of understanding God in feminine imagery, we cut ourselves off from valuable insights into God’s love and we diminish our understanding of the mystery of God. Gregory felt free to express truths of God as he saw them, can we do less? 

As we celebrate Mother’s Day on the May 12, I encourage us to think of ways that our mothers have gifted us and helped shape us into the people we are today. Then think of ways that God’s love is like a mother’s love. If we are to understand the fullness of the Divine Presence, we should not reject seeing God in the closeness that a mother has with her children. To do so is to betray something holy about God and about ourselves.

Yours on the journey,

Pastor B. J.

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