A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital. just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” Can you explain?
. . . . . .
If you haven’t yet figured it out, the surgeon is the boys MOTHER! If you didn’t get it at first (or if you end ahead before you really thought about it), then you are like most people who don’t get this right away because the average person implicitly assumes that the surgeon is a man and therefore the boys father. Most folks have to thin about the riddle for a few seconds before they realize the surgeon is the boy’s mother.
Well, maybe you did get it quickly. So, now take a few minutes to list some characteristics of mothers…your mother, mothers in general, or just motherly figures.
. . . . . .
Now consider, dos God have those characteristics?
Too often Christians neglect the image of God as Mother. But take a look at Genesis 1:27…
God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
In Genesis, it took men and women to capture the fullness of God’s image in creation. We tend to stop with the fact that God just made people in general. But God made men and women and God made men and women in the image of God.
Genesis does not say God made people rich and poor. It does not say God made people Jew and Greek, or black and white, or tall and short, or African and American. No, those are all human created categories. They only exist because we made them up.
What the Bible says is that to make humanity and imprint us with the image of God, it took both males and females. To express the fullness of God in humanity God made males and females.
And this means that God is both male and female. Not just one. Not just the other. God is both. From our human perspective God is multi-gendered. But it’s really hard to talk about a multi-gendered God. We don’t really have language for that. And at the end of the day, we can most all agree that God is beyond gender, but since we humans exist as two genders, we can better understand God through gender. Therefore both genders are needed to express the fullness of God. Consequently, the bible is filled with portraits of God some of which are male and some of which are female.
And, yes, our bible uses male pronouns for God. That was the way Hebrew and Greek language was used. In those languages, the masculine pronoun included male and female, especially when used in the plural. When you spoke of a group of people that included men and women, the male plural pronoun was used to include everyone. It was a patriarchal society and this was the way people practically used language.
Today, we don’t have that same kind of practice. In fact, we have been moving away from masculine pronouns that imply male and female for awhile now in order to recognize the value of both men and women.
I want to encourage you to reclaim the beauty of the feminine aspect of God. Find and reflect on some of the feminine images for God in the Bible. Try using feminine pronouns for God more often. Think about God as mother and pray to God as your Heavenly Mother. There is certainly nothing wrong with it. In fact, there is so much right with it. And the truth is, you’ll find more fullness is God is you will open your heart and mind to your Mother God.
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