June 26th, 2015

1. Biblical female imagery for God

A really helpful list is available here: www.womensordination.org/resources/female-images-of-god-in-the-bible/ 

  • Genesis 1:27  Women and Men created in God’s image
    “Humankind was created as God’s reflection: in the divine image God created them; female and male, God made them.”
  • Hosea 11:3-4 God described as a mother
    God: “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.
  • Hosea 13:8 God described as a mother bear
    “Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and tear them asunder…”
  • Deuteronomy 32:11-12 God described as a mother eagle
    “Like the eagle that stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young, God spreads wings to catch you, and carries you on pinions.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:18 God who gives birth
    “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.”
  • Isaiah 66:13 God as a comforting mother
    God: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
  • Isaiah 49:15 God compared to a nursing mother
    God: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
  • Isaiah 42:14 God as a woman in labor
    God: “For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant.”
  • Psalm 131:2 God as a Mother
    “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.”
  • Psalm 123:2-3 God compared to a woman
    “As the eyes of a servant looks to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to you, YHWH, until you show us your mercy!”
  • Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 God as a Mother Hen
    Jesus: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
  • Luke 15:8-10 God as woman looking for her lost coin
    Jesus: “Or what woman having ten silver coins, is she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

2. The Inclusive Bible (pub Sheed and Wrd 2009) is a translation that re-translates male-gendered language for and about God in a variety of ways. Texts such as the psalms and the magnificat beome addressed to ‘you’ rather than ‘he’, and Father beceoms Abba God or Loving God. language for God and replaces

3. Common Worship has lots of gender-neutral alternatives, but you have to search for them. We will do that for you in later listings. For example, an authorised Common Worship alternative Gloria for use with the Psalms

Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

4. Books of inclusive prayers, liturgies and hymns.