Mothering God New Year Reflection

Read my Reflection given on 3 January 2021 and upload the order service (with all words) if you wish.

EXTRACT: Imagine being in the downstairs garage of a distant relative’s home, amongst the outgrown toys and motorbikes and oily rags and furniture hastily shoved in to make space in the spare rooms for the cousins who arrived earlier. Imagine if your first experience of parenthood is in a lowly garage, amongst the detritus of lawnmowers and shovels and dirt-encrusted gardening gloves and the stink of sheep pellets and blood-and-bone. Imagine birthing God in the most disreputable part of an overcrowded factory town.

Welcome, newborn baby, to the back seat of an unregistered car on a relative’s street, and a diet of the cheapest white bread and bottles of sugary drinks that are cheaper than water, and takeaways cheaper than fresh vegetables even if you owned a stove and pots and pans. Welcome to temporary stays in damp and mouldy state houses; to pain-blotting alcohol misuse and memory-numbing drug dependence. Welcome to the kingdom we’ve prepared for you, with our needs-based assessments and welfare ‘reforms’ and under-funding of health services and community education programmes.

Welcome to a new year of international instability and local prison rioting, of obscene wealth and grinding poverty; welcome to the starry skies and space junk, thousands of human-made objects polluting earth’s air space as plastics pollute our seas; to the river of life, too contaminated to drink from or swim in…

The very names of God in Hebrew Scripture imply or can be read as feminine, motherly, abundant. “Thus says the Lord,” wrote Isaiah, “as a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” From the Greek, Sophia has become an image of the divine feminine—the essence of divine wisdom and a co-partner with God in the work of creation. Shekinah, in Hebrew, means “the act of dwelling”; it’s in the feminine form, and means the female earthly aspect of God that dwelt among people…

in the wake of racist terror attack

Here are my ongoing responses so far:

Prayers of the people following the Christchurch mosque attack; parable of lost son & prodigal father

An evolving response… Christchurch, Friday 15 March 2019 – part 1, a prose poem that asks some awkward questions

An evolving response… – part 2, some ideas for counteracting racism and intolerance early.

 

Aroha mai.jpg

 

Two Epiphany Reflections

I’ve added two Reflections on Epiphany (one of them also includes Jesus’ Baptism). You’ll notice they share the same introductory paragraphs, but differ in the bodies of the reflection:

Gifts for a Baptism

Memory and Mystery

Did wise women visit Jesus?

Memory and Mystery: a reflection for Epiphany

Extract: Dominican Fr. Benedict Thomas Viviano, an authority on the Gospel of Matthew, believes it’s entirely possible that women could have been among the mages in his birth narrative. Matthew is the only Gospel that says anything about them, and his use of the Greek masculine plural magoi for magi can be used inclusively, just as the English word “men” often includes women.

Viviano specializes in examining the book of Matthew in light of its literary connections to the Hebrew Bible. Even though Matthew 1-2 is not strictly a Midrash—since it is not about the Old Testament—it “employs Midrashic techniques” to interpret the person of Jesus. He relates “the presence of one or more women among the magi [to] the background story of the queen of Sheba, with her quest for Israelite royal wisdom, her reverent awe, and her three gifts fit for a king.”