Mother's Day Reflection Two

May 8, 2021

In many Christian spaces God is addressed overwhelmingly as a father. The metaphor often has become so ingrained that we can forget that it is not even literal but rather is a comparison to point to a deeper truth. Worse still, the Christian church by and large has tended to leave out biblical metaphors which compare God to a mother. We have often not been taught that El-Shaddai -- one of the Hebrew terms used to name God -- is best translated, according to scholars like Arthur Zannoni as “God of the Breasts” or “the Breasted God.” We have often not been taught that the Spirit who breathes life into humanity and all of creation in the beginning and who resurrects into new life in the end is gendered as female in the Hebrew. 

As we approach Mother’s Day, may we sit with the reality that God is like a mother who gives life, holds close, and nourishes. May we find all of our complicated relationships with God as Father and God as Mother being reclaimed and restored on healthier foundations.