In Her Holy Name…

Mother’s day can be a tricky Sunday in the life of the church. The way that we have handled it over the last 3-4 years has been to celebrate women in general. Certainly, there is a great deal to celebrate about Mothers, but that can also be a bit of a tricky topic as well. Not everyone has ideal feelings about Mother’s Day, and for a variety of reasons.

One thing is for sure, we could all do a better job of celebrating the women who have had an impact on our lives, whether they are mothers or not. This is particularly important within the church, where our history has strayed towards patriarchy.

I don’t want to steal any of Sarah Kotchian’s thunder this Sunday, but one thing I lament is the direction that the protestant tradition went in regards to Mary the mother of Jesus. Unfortunately, many of our Protestant forefathers (specifically gendered here!) were…well…misogynists; and as they decided what should be kept and what should be abandoned, Mary was left behind. There are vibrant and wonderful traditions in both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism regarding Mary, and in some ways that has helped to offset the incredibly patriarchal tradition to make way for some regard for the sacred feminine. Alas, we protestants jettisoned those traditions, and have often ignored the numerous female heroes of our faith, and have neglected the abundant use of feminine imagery for God in scripture.

Whatever your feelings for Mother’s Day, we could always use the reminder to be more thankful for the women in our lives, and the women of our faith.


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