Today is Mother’s Day. This is a time we celebrate motherhood. If there’s any one thing that all people have in common, it’s that we all have a mother.
Today is a good day for some—eating with family, remembering the good of a mother, and the love she gave and/or continues to give.
But today is one of the hardest days for some people—It hurts some people to remember a mother they lost. Others may have experienced an abusive mother growing up. This day can be painful for some who have experienced miscarriages, abortions, or other troubles with pregnancy.
Like any day, meaning is different to each individual. The good thing is this: we can all come and worship the same God together, who is the ever-loving, nurturing, ever-lasting parent.
The Scriptures refer to God as Father in the New Testament, and we are thankful for that image of God. But we can celebrate that image on Father’s Day.
Today is Mother’s Day. Did you know that there are many images and metaphors for God in Scripture as a Mother?
Hosea 13:8 describes God as a mother bear, protecting her cubs.
Deuteronomy 32:11-12 describes God as a mother eagle who stirs up a nest, hovers over her young, and spreads out her wings to catch, carry, and protect those who are hers.
Isaiah 42:14 describes God as a woman in labor.
Isaiah 66:13 describes God as a mother who shows compassion for her child from the time the child is in her womb.
Jeremiah 44:25 calls the God of Israel the queen of heaven.
The Psalms time and time again compare God to a mother, especially in the term El Shaddai, which is a Hebrew word for God. Literally translated it means “the many-breasted one.” This beautiful image is of a child who gets all the nutrients one needs from a mother’s breast milk. The term El Shaddai, the many breasted one, basically says that God has enough to give all who are in need.
In Matthew 23:37 and Luke 12:34, Jesus compares himself to a mother hen, who protects her chicks under her wings.
There are many, many more images of God as a mother throughout Scripture. While God is limitless, we can celebrate God’s divine motherly image today, on Mother’s Day. Our prayer is that we can reflect that beautiful image of the Divine.