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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Mother

Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her— that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast, that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom.

For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream, and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm and bounced on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass, and it shall be known that the power of the Lord is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies. ~ Isaiah 66:10-14



The image of mother here is used for both Jerusalem and for God. Have you ever thought of God as a mother?


We are used to God as Father. We pray using the terms "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." And maybe you balk at the idea of God using feminine imagery.


But God is genderless. Even in Genesis, God says of humans that they shall be made in "our image" according to "our" likeness.


Lots going on here.


All human beings are created in God's image: male, female.


And you could add to that non-binary. Because God is talking about all humans. All.


So God is father. God is mother. God is non-binary.


Don't get me wrong. I have always loved the image of God as father. I still do. But I also love the idea of God as mother, and I know many - some from abusive family settings - who find the image of God as father to be a reminder of their violent upbringing.


For many of them, the idea of God as comforting mother likely has more meaning.


It is clear that Jesus was male. But when we insist on God being only male, we are putting God in a box that God is way, way bigger than.


This is why you will very rarely hear or read me using the pronoun "he" regarding God. I use the term "God," or "Holy One" most often. Because that is what God is: Holy and One.



Holy One, God as Father, God as Mother, God as Other. Help me to see you more clearly and to be amazed when you surprise me. Amen.



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