When Sean was a little boy, he wanted to know who God’s mother was. I told him, “You are.” And as if that answer wasn’t a bit too esoteric for his 4-year old brain to comprehend, I made sure to baffle him further by quoting a 13th Century mystic, Meister Eckhart, who said, “We are all called to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.”
God needs mothers of all kinds. Young ones, old ones, tall ones, short ones, rich ones, poor ones, loud ones and shy ones, hoarders and neat freaks, free-spirited and conservative, strong or insecure, good or bad alike, God needs mothers. That is to say, God needs you and me.
I am not suggesting that to qualify for this role, all women must be pregnant or that men need to become more like Kaitlin Jenner and less like Bruce. But I do believe God is calling us to give birth to a new kind of motherhood – one where our kinship isn’t based on matching DNA or something you might find on “23 and Me.”
John’s gospel shed’s light on this idea. As his last act before dying, notice how Jesus remembered his mother. With his final breath looming, Jesus looked at his mom and said to her, “Woman here is your son.” And to the disciple whom he loved he said, “Here is your mother.” In this place of death, a new life was created. “And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” Widows and orphans became one. A new body was birthed.
Just as God becomes flesh and bones in Jesus and lived among us, we too are we called to live incarnational, to put on the flesh of God’s love. Bearing the blessing of Christ to form a new community – one that supports and cares, and welcomes all people in need of a family to call their own.
This incarnational community is the medium in which the Gospel comes alive. It’s an engine for peace, and fuel for justice. It is the healing balm for reconciliation and the kiss upon the wounds of the world.
God needs mothers like you and me. So he sent Jesus to glean from an extraordinary pool of human talent, diverse opinions, and every imaginable experience there is so the Good News of God’s love and grace can fill the hearts and hands of every person.
Jesus never said he wanted us to worship him, but to be astounding in the world like he was; changing and transforming our communities towards God’s will. Before his assassination, Martin Luther King reminded us that a church community is not a place we go to, but a place from which we go.
From that cross, Jesus invites all his disciples to adopt one another and be a community that reflects God’s sustaining love, power and presence in the world. We – the very Body of Christ – are called to take on a flesh and spirit…and to become mothers and caretakers, nurturing love and kindness in a hurting world.
The Greeks have a word, Theotokos, which means “God-Bearers.” It’s a title that’s often reserved for the Blessed Mother Mary. But if we dare to call ourselves Christians, then we must also be brave enough to bear God’s incarnate love.
As part of the living body of Christ, each one of us is called to be a mother who carries in our body the very life of God. We must allow it to form and take shape within us, and be willing to carry God’s love safely into being.
From conception, to birth and life, all the way through death and resurrection, Jesus shows us the way, empowering us with great responsibility to make the Kingdom of God come alive.
Through him, the love of God becomes incarnate in us so the fullness of God’s glory, the mother of all love, can be revealed throughout all of creation and long into eternity.
My only question for you is this: Will you carry this love to full term?
has been blogging under the name: Jesus not Jesús: Looking for Christ in the face of strangers. You can read his posts and browse his archives by clicking here.
Worship with us live on Facebook
Sunday at 11:00 a.m.