God, the single mom

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

The Mother will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, in my name…. Those who love me will keep my word, and my Mother will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them….

John 14.26, 23

The Holy Trinity is a single parent family, right? And look— despite all the he-man talk, God is a mom. Aside from our sexist history, there’s really no reason to call God Father instead of Mother. God has no biology, no body parts, no x or y chromosomes. So the whole Mother/Father thing is all about social stereotypes. Well, doesn’t God fit the traditional stereotype of a mother? The one who births us, and nurses us with her own flesh, the one who taught us to walk. Not one who leaves home every day to work, but the one who stays with us to care for us. The one who feeds us, the one who talks with us, who weaves our relationships together, who tends us when we’re sick, who cries over us. Isn’t God more like the one who fusses over us rather than the one who taught us how to play football? As far as gender stereotypes go, God is way more like Mom.

Both our stereotypes and our theology need to change. But while dads learn to be more like what we’ve always expected of moms, God’s been doing it all along.

And she’s not only a homemaker, she’s a single mom. There’s a Son, and another (a daughter?)—but no other parent, no other authority, no one else for us to turn to or for her to fall back on. God is the resilient, resourceful, devoted single mom, the one who works hard to hold the family together, who balances work and family, who somehow pulls it all together. As we approach Mother’s Day I honor mothers, especially those who are single or functionally so, who give life and love, and who embody God’s grace.

In the name of the Mother, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Happy Mother’s Day.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve


Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes

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