CELEBRATING WOMEN: Day 1, God as Mother Hen

Today is International Women’s Day!  It is my hope that you will join me over the course of the next 23 days in celebrating the women who have had a significant role in influencing me.  For the rest of March, I will post daily blog-posts — some of these posts will be from me talking about the women who have had a significant role in influencing me and some of the posts will be from these women themselves, childhood friends, mentors, teachers, co-workers, etc.  My hope is that this series, “Celebrating Women,” will accomplish three tings:  1) to serve in a small way as a “Thank You” to all the women who have influenced me, 2) that you will gain wisdom from those who have spoken wisdom into my life, and 3) that it will serve as a reminder to say thank you and to recognize all the amazing women in your one life.  

“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing.”  Matthew 23:37b

Moses, Isaiah, and even Jesus knew something that I fear we too often forget within certain camps of American Christianity.  This is particularly true of the branch of American Christianity in which I would be placed by most who know me — American Evangelicalism; a designation that seems to mean less and less and one that has become almost theologically unrecognizable to some of us who still find themselves identified within this camp (of course that is probably a blog for a different day; today is a day to celebrate women).

Within American Evangelicalism, however, we seem to have forgotten something that Moses, Isaiah, and even Jesus knew about God — something that they knew about God’s nature.  And if someone tries to remind us of this thing to which Moses, Isaiah, and even Jesus pointed, we are quick to “correct” them — to point out that they have strayed from one of the significant tenants of the faith.

You see Moses, Isaiah, and even Jesus knew that God’s nature was too great, too complex, too divine to be described simply as male.

Because of this, the writers of scripture describe God not only as Father (which is a designation that we should not and must not lose — another blog for another day) but they also describe God using the imagery of a mother giving birth and nursing her young, a mother eagle, a woman comforting her young, and even a chicken gathering her wayward chicks home (Hosea, another writer of scripture, even describes God as a mother bear tearing asunder those who would separate her from her cubs).

God may be Father — but He is NOT male.  Male AND female are made in God’s image and both are needed to reflect God’s image and nature to a world that desperately needs to see and recognize God.

For me, the nature of God has been reflected to me in countless women.  God has spoken to me in the voices of countless women.  God has shaped me through the influence of countless women.

Mothers, friends, mentors, clergy, teachers, fellow workers in Christ.

To try to name them all would be impossible!  But on this day recognizing women, they all must be thanked.  THANK YOU!

For the rest of the month, I want to continue to celebrate the women who have reflected and continue to reflect the very best of God’s image into my life and the world around them.  I hope you will join me on this month of celebrating and learning from the women who have spoken life into my life, who have formed me, who have reflected the very best of Gods image to me, but more importantly, I hope you will take the time to say thank you, to celebrate, to recognize the women who have done this in your life.