“As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother. We were created by the motherhood of love, a mother’s love which never leaves us.” —Julian of Norwich, Showings
The Old Testament offers images of God’s constant and tender care for us being like a mother’s love. Even before Julian’s time, a number of male theologians had written of Christ as our mother. But Julian expands greatly on this metaphor of the motherhood of Jesus or of God.
Here’s one: Christ is our mother because he birthed us into endless life. Julian compares his suffering on the cross to the suffering of a mother in childbirth, a suffering that Jesus undertakes willingly in order to bring us to life.
Another way Julian speaks of the motherhood of God is to say that the love of a kind human mother, like every other goodness in this world, is itself God’s own love at work. Julian wrote to help us understand that love is God’s meaning. So all can come to the table, knowing that our kind mother God sets it for us, the guests of honor, the dearly loved children.
This message is an excerpt from “The motherhood of God” by Elaine Julian Ramshaw in the May 2021 issue of Gather magazine.
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