-Rev Melissa Fain-
God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.
Genesis 1:27 CEB
Can someone explain to me why this statement is somehow more scandalous than "God is Black"? It's okay. I already know.
It's our implicit understanding of femininity. Implicit, meaning not clearly expressed, in this case also means it plays out because of old understandings in our social system. Also known as: systemic.
On one hand, God isn't male. God is beyond gender. On the other hand, we'll just keep calling God by masculine qualifiers, while loudly saying God is also not female.
On one hand, we understand God does not have a gender. On the other hand, we'll voice God in this booming male voice.
On one hand, we understand God does not have a gender. On the other hand, we'll gladly speak up God on Father's day, while safely avoiding it on Mother's day.
We may know these things, but our collective understanding of God can firmly place the Divine in the masculine, without fear or guilt. Our high horse is hobbled, or perhaps, it has just been a hobby horse this whole time. We're simply playing with the idea of God.
"God is female" is scary in the same way "God is... [insert anything negative here]" is scary. Deep down, our collective understanding of femininity believes this is something less than. It's this mindset that God is good, but women are not good enough. Don't believe me? Then look at our media.
When we get a movie where the female pretends to be male to get something, it's a learning experience. She becomes a better person for having stepped in the male role. Meanwhile, if a male does the same thing if often used as a joke. The male leaves the gender, learning it's better to be a man. The exception being motherhood. In movies, males becoming moms make men better men. But, women are more than mothers, and you don't see movies where women gender swap to gaze into fatherhood. You do get movies where femininity is a tool to the goal of the masculine character.
I know, big words. Let me take a step back and simplify it for you: "God created humanity in God’s own image in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them."
Females are not the Zerox copy of males. Females are images of the Divine, just as much as males are. More than that, there are female images of the Divine placed throughout the bible. God's wisdom is personified as female. Let's start there. God is female.
Let us pray:
Holy Mother, who birthed Creation, protect us like a mother bear, while bringing us in as a hen bring in her chicks. Amen.