I’m retired from the Air Force and have a M.A. in Ancient History. I share this because I used to think violence, power, conquest, etc. in the name of freedom and liberty was a good thing. I believed the usual forms of strength and ferocity would solve the problem of evil in the world. YET, history shows thousands of years of humanity repetitively disagreeing, dividing, excluding, killing, and triumphing over and over again, all in the name of the collective “good” of course, has pretty much led to nothing other than more of the same. Hurting breeds hurting. It’s said insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. I think that’s spot on and it’s way past time we tried something different. How about you?
This leads me to Mother Jesus. Before I dive in, I’ll start by noting it’s pretty universally agreed God is NOT a man, even though we typically refer to the Divine with masculine pronouns. As a friend of mine in seminary concluded, God is FULL of gender. With that in mind, and remembering Christians largely believe Jesus is God in the flesh, it seems to me “Mother Jesus” is a 100% legit title. I can’t take credit for this glorious phrase though; I got it from author and pastor Brian Zahnd.
I think Mother Jesus is a glorious reframing because the Christ has always represented a radically different way of being to the typical ways of the world. Furthermore, when we’re being honest, I think we can agree nations, tribes, communities, families, etc. have historically operated in a stereotypically masculine manner. It seems to me, this aggressive, warrior mentality is at the heart of the troubles in our world, whether they are political divides, ethnic battles, national hostilities, a culture of fear, a bias toward violence, or a desire for power.
As Einstein said, we can’t solve our problems with the same type of thinking or level of consciousness that created them in the first place, which is why I think Mother Jesus invites us to keep the positive energies of masculinity and discard its harmful impulses, while embracing the gifts of femininity.
Jesus, by all accounts, came to begin and lead a new kingdom, only his realm and reign was quite different from ours in all the best (and hardest) ways! In the Gospels we see the Christ’s journey through Israel to Jerusalem, where this goal would come to fruition. Yet, while the march of Alexander the Great, Caesar, and all the other great worldly powers to this day (like the U.S.) left death and destruction in their wake, Jesus brought healing and freedom, leaving behind a motherly and nurturing impact. As the Christ approached Jerusalem, we read about him weeping over the people, because he correctly intuited that in trying to win their freedom from Rome the Jews would choose the usual path of violence, power, and division, instead of Christ’s Way of peace, service, and inclusion, and suffer for it.
In Matthew 23.37 Jesus takes on a motherly persona in lamenting, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
This Jesus, who embodies the very best of what it means to be Mother, Father, and everything “in between”, consistently describes God’s realm and reign as the place, space, and energy of Love, the giving of oneself for the thriving and flourishing of ALL.
Mother Jesus’ most lengthy and poignant description of what heaven come to earth, the domain he came to inaugurate, looks like comes in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Matthew 5 especially, it seems to me, invites us to a motherly tenderness. For instance, listen to who Jesus says are blessed by God: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers (Matthew 5.3-9).
From there, the Christ goes on to flip the usual ways of the world on its head! Instead of letting yourself be governed by the energy of anger, even justified, he says, choose to be guided by the Spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. Don’t objectify others and lust after them, Jesus continues, but see them as children of the Divine. Jamming with Jesus means NOT repaying evil, harm, and hurt with punishment or violence, but with kindness, care, and service! Marching to the rhythm of Christ’s drum means LOVING our enemies and literally praying for them to be blissed and blessed.
One doesn’t have to watch or read the news for long to realize there’s lots of hurt in the world, which means we could use a heavy dose of healing. It seems to me the being, energy, and Way of Mother Jesus is a pretty spectacular place to find the medicine we need today. What do you think?
Grace and peace,