Woman, the world needs you. You can’t marry or mother your way to worthiness. Your own self, your own existence, your own recognition of the divine within you, is the gift.Read More
The Lectionary passages for this week contain images of the Divine Feminine in the form of Sophia, the Wisdom of God. She is mostly a forgotten idea among present-day Evangelicals, but other traditions have kept her alive. I myself have found solace and healing in studying her and bringing her into my thinking about God, and in reclaiming the Divine Feminine. I recommend reading this article by Jann Aldredge-Clanton for an introduction. Also check out our latest sermon series “God as She,” from Peace of Christ Church.
Oh God, the heavens are declaring your beauty;
The earth is proclaiming your character (1).
We mostly don’t hear this
Because we don’t stop long enough to listen.
Your own Wisdom is calling out to us
Day and night (2) -
She who is an emanation of your light,
A mirror of your being,
An image of your goodness (3).
She does all things;
She renews all things;
She orders all things;
She is better than any other light,
More worthy than any star (4).
If we don’t hear her,
It’s not because she isn’t speaking.
If we don’t see her,
It’s not because she isn’t there.
Oh God, open our eyes and ears to Wisdom,
To the beauty of your Person.
And make us ever more able to take you in,
To understand more fully,
To know more deeply,
To have patience to listen well. Amen
1) Psalm 19:1
2) Proverbs 1:20
3) Wisdom 7:26
4) Wisdom 7:27, 29
This week's Old Testament Lectionary passage is the story of Hagar, whom Abraham cast out into the desert along with her son. But God sneakily rescued her; even though she was a slave and a woman, the lowliest of the low, God valued her and protected her.
Creator, Protector of the Lowly
Defender of the Weak:
You do not despise the needy;
You do not cast out those without status.
Your eye is always on the underdog,
And you care for those on the margins.
You rescued the lowly servant girl Hagar
Who had no power, no authority to choose a life for herself.
She served Abraham to the utmost, even bearing him a child.
Abraham cast her out; but you, God, rescued her.
You gave her water in the desert and preserved her life.
Her child grew into a father of nations. (1)
Your ways are not our ways:
Breeding or family line
The world categorizes and assigns value to people according to these things,
But you, God, see beyond, to the inner person.
Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life,
For I am devoted to you;
Save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God. (2)
(1) Genesis 21:8-21
(2) Psalm 86:1,2
I considered writing a litany for Mother's Day. But then I realized that I am frustrated because Mother's Day tends to be the only day of the year that your average Jesus-y church talks AT ALL about the feminine. So I've written this prayer to hopefully inspire us to a larger perception of the Divine, and to lift up my sisters who have been told by their religion or faith-culture that they are Less-Than or Other because of their gender.
God, we know that you made us, male and female
All in your image.
You are above all, throughout all
And in all.
Your image can be found in fathers,
And your image can be found in mothers.
In brothers and sisters, in servants and rulers,
In shepherds and sheep, in adults and children;
In men and in women
The truth of the divine is reflected.
Human society has relegated that image of you that is feminine
To the Less-Than and the Other.
We have worshipped the male
And maligned the female.
We have worshipped the warrior,
And overlooked the nurturer.
We have worshipped the fact,
And ignored the question.
Forgive us for only assigning value to a part of you
And making an idol of it;
All the while closing our perception off
From a broader picture of your goodness.
Restore to us an understanding of you
That encompasses the sacred feminine,
And that helps in turn lift up all of us
Whose identities reflect your feminine image.
Our desire is to know you
Fully and well,
And to see you in the vastness
Of your beauty and majesty.