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David preaching to congregation

Notes from Pastor David

"As a Mother Comforts Her Child"

May 14th, 2023

In the beginning, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The opening chapter of Scripture builds toward the creation of man and woman on the sixth day:

  So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

While God has revealed himself as Father, Son, and Spirit, we must remember that both male and female are made in the image of God.

Women image God in ways that men do not and Scripture bears witness to God’s maternal character. This is sometimes expressed with avian imagery. For example, Moses compares God’s provision and protection of Israel to a mother eagle:  

  But the Lord’s portion is his people,
      Jacob his allotted heritage.
  10 “He found him in a desert land,
      and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
  he encircled him, he cared for him,
      he kept him as the apple of his eye.
  11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
      that flutters over its young,
  spreading out its wings, catching them,
      bearing them on its pinions.” (Deut 32:9-11)

Likewise, Jesus laments: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matt 23:37) Moses’s song and Jesus’s lament recall the Spirit hovering over the waters in the beginning.

We also find maternal imagery in the oracles of Isaiah. In a striking passage, Yahweh compares himself to a mother in the anguish of labour:

  For a long time I have held my peace;
     I have kept still and restrained myself;
  now I will cry out like a woman in labour;
     I will gasp and pant. (Is 42:14)

Yahweh promises his people:

  As a mother comforts her child,
     so will I comfort you. (Is 66:13)

As we remember and celebrate our mothers this Sunday, let’s remember that their tender and steadfast love is a reflection of our LORD’s tender and steadfast love.