I have referenced Elizabeth Johnson’s book She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse throughout this sermon. This is the third in an Advent series called “Wings, Wisdom and Womb: Dwelling in our Feminine Divine.”
When Patrick was young, he loved the book, Mama, Do You Love Me? And no wonder! In it, a daughter tries to find the limits of her mother’s love. And again and again, the mother assures her child that there is nothing — nothing — the child could do that would separate her from her love. Set in an Alaskan Inuit village, the girls asks, “What if I put salmon in your parka? Or what if I threw water on the lamp?” “Then,” mother says, “I would be mad, but I would still love you.” “What if I turned into a musk ox?” “Then,” the mother says, “I would very sad, but I would still love you.”
Patrick would often ask his own questions. “What if I kicked the cat?” (Actually, that’s not forgivable, Patrick, as you well know.) Or, the absolute worst: “What if I killed someone?” “Then,” I said, “I would be very very sad, so sad my heart break, but I would still love you. I will always think you are beautiful and precious because I love you.”
Proverbs 8 (excerpts), Wisdom of Solomon 7:29-30
I have referenced Elizabeth Johnson’s book She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse throughout this sermon. This is the second in an Advent series called “Wings, Wisdom and Womb: Dwelling in our Feminine Divine.”
A few years after I graduated from seminary with a degree in feminist liberation theology, over 2,000 feminist theologians and church folks and ministers gathered in Minneapolis for what turned out to the most controversial ecumenical church event in decades. Unfortunately, I was not there. I do love a good controversy. I wanted to go, but I was still way too in debt paying off seminary. As it turned out, I missed the feminist theological event of the last decade or three. “The Re-Imagining Conference” — held in 1993 — caused tidal waves across the Protestant religious landscape because it did what its title said it would do. It re-imagined Christianity, placing diverse women’s experiences at the center of theology and also placing the Feminine Divine at the center of the worship and ritual life of the conference.
This is the first sermon in an Advent series on “Wings, Wisdom and Womb: Dwelling in our Feminine Divine.” I am very much indebted to Elizabeth Johnson’s book She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse throughout this sermon. I also consulted Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb’s book She Who Dwells Within: Feminist Vision of a Renewed Judaism.
Is it possible that She has been there from the very beginning of time, from the start of all that is, and we didn’t see Her? Let’s hear the familiar words from Genesis 1: “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2). How many times have we read the beginning of our creation story and did not have eyes to see Her?