Presentation on theme: "Nurturing the Nations Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for the Building of Healthy Cultures God’s Maternal Heart Transition:"— Presentation transcript:
1 Nurturing the Nations Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for the Building of Healthy Cultures God’s Maternal HeartTransition:
2 Part 3 THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS 7 The Bible8 The Trinity9 Servanthood10 The Transcendence of Sexuality11 God’s Maternal Heart
3 Jerusalem Oh Jerusalem! O 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, but you were not willing.Personal reflectionRead Matthew 23:37What does this reveal about the heart of God?Feedback
5 Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son (1669) What do you see in this picture?Note the hands!
6 Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son "As soon as I recognized the difference between the two hands of the father, a new world of meaning opened up for me. The Father is not simply a great patriarch. He is mother as well as father. He touches the son with a masculine hand and a feminine hand. He holds, and she caresses. He confirms and she consoles. He is , indeed, God, in whom both manhood and womanhood, fatherhood and motherhood, are fully present. That gentle and caressing right hand echoes for me the words of the prophet Isaiah: "Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you. Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."
7 Metaphor or Simile Simile Metaphor A metaphor states that the whole of one thing is the same as the whole of another thingGod is a motherSimileA simile compares part of one thing to anotherGod is like a mother
8 God is like: A woman giving birth A nursing mother A mother hen A mother eagleTo say that God is Mother is:To posit God as a female deityTo see the creation as a birthing processPantheism confusion of God and creationMany modern feminists theologians are pantheists and not theists.
9 John Piper“All things exist to demonstrate something about God’s infinite perfections.”What is the essence of female?It is to reveal the maternal heart of God to a watching world.A woman does not have to be a mother to do this.The maternal metaphysic of love, self-sacrifice and nurturing of every woman is a manifestation of God’s maternal heart.
10 The Female BodyWas made for a purpose: to compassionate, to nurture and to protect.The concrete reality of the female body reveals, to all who will see, the abstract nature of God’s compassion, nurture and protection.A woman’s body is not merely functional, it also has a transcendent purpose of pointing us to the maternal heart of God.
11 Having A MotherAt its most rudimentary level, one of the most common denominators to being a human is to have a mother.
12 Each Human Being Was carried inside of a woman, in a womb. Most received their first nurture at a mother’s breast.Was held in a mother’s arms.
15 God’s Name“The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin….”Exodus 34:6-7Individual Reflection / Small Group WorkRead Exodus 34:5-6a.What does the name of God reveal about his nature?FeedbackGod is the God of compassionThe cross is God’s compassionate response to our sinA world without Christ is a world without compassion.
16 Hebrew - rachamDerived from Hebrew word meaning: to love, to love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, and have compassion.TranslatedMercy 30 timesCompassion 4 timesWomb 4 timesGod’s nature is to compassion. His name is compassion. The word used for God’s name is also translated womb.
17 The King’s Dilemma 1 Kings 3:16-28 What is the setting?What is the dilemma that Solomon faced?How did he determine which woman was the real mother?What did this test reveal?Small Group WorkRead 1 Kings 3: 16-28Answer the questionsFeedbackWhat did the real mother have? Womb-Love.Solomon’s wisdom was not magic. He understood:God is a compassionate GodHe has built his compassion into women: womb-love
18 Womb LoveThe woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
20 El Shaddai The All Sufficient The Satisfier The Almighty God is the God of NURTURE. He is:ComfortingNurturingProvidingHis maternal heart is manifest inThe metaphysical feminineThe structure of a woman’s bodyMost profoundly in a woman’s breastsToo often societyReduces a woman’s breasts to sex objectsIgnores the metaphysical nature of the physical breasts
21 God is Like a Nursing Mother Read: Numbers 11:12; Isaiah 49:13-15; Isaiah 66:10-13Questions:What do these reveal about God?What do they reveal about a woman?Small Group WorkRead the passagesReflect on what these reveal aboutGodA WomanFeedback
22 Hebrew – El Shaddai Name of God Shaddai is found 48 times in O.T. From root shad: breast or bosomWhen combined with El – God, it means:One Who NourishesOne Who SuppliesOne Who SatisfiesGod is the archetype for the human stereotypeNot an anthropomorphic projectionGod is the all sufficient provider for His creationHe has made the female breast a physical expression of His transcendent nature
23 Dr. R.C. Sproul“Some scholars argue that the Semitic, linguistic root of the divine title El Shaddai referred to the “multibreasted one,” the one who provides the nation with succor and nourishment.”
24 Made for Relationship Maternal Infant Bonding “Latching” – skin to skin contactThe eyes – soul to soul contactThe very nature of God is community, relationship.The Trinity is the First Bonded Community.We were made for relationshipsThe most basic place where is manifest in creation is in maternal –infant bonding.Drs. Klaus and Kennell describe the maternal-infant bonding as and “intense physical, emotional and spiritual bond.”Latching – skin to skin contact – research has shownLeave new born baby and mother alonePlace the baby on the mother’s sternumWithin minutes the baby will find the mother’s breast and latch on.The eyes – soul to soul contactNurse and lactation therapist Marie Davis writes, in Breastfeeding: The Lost Art:that in the womb “the baby is hearing the sounds of his mother through the uterine wall. He tastes the spices and foods mom eats as he drink amniotic fluid. He learns his mother’s smell from the smell of the amniotic fluid.”“Research is repeatedly proving that breastfeeding is more than the at of transferring milk. Breastfeeding is nurturing.”“Mature milk provides all needed nutrients for normal growth and development. Breast milk will meet all of the infant’s nutritional needs for six months.”Maternal-infant bonding takes place in the womb. The baby is learning the mother’s:VoiceSounds and music of her cultureThe rhythms of her heart beatTastes in foodScentOnce out of the womb, the baby wants to be on her mother’s breast, near to her HEART and the place of nourishment.
25 Beauty and FunctionTelenomy: a female breast, in beauty and function reveals something of God’s Infinite Perfection
26 Questions What does this reveal about women? What does this reveal about God?What are the implications of the maternal-infant bond before and after birth for the external environment for the mother?Small Group WorkHave each group take one question.DiscussFeedback
27 Marilyn’s StoryMarilyn studied for 6 months to become a lactation therapist.Most nights she would say that she did not understand how someone could study the female breast and not conclude there is a God.Research has shownIntroduce a pathogen into a nursing motherHer body will produce the anti-body in the babies milk before it produces it for the mother herself.What does this reveal about:The very nature of female?The nature of God?
29 God Is Our Refuge and Protector Psalm 91:1-2He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”Small Group WorkRead the passageWhat are the mental pictures that come to your mind?Shadow is a Hebrew metaphor for God’s protection against oppression.Wings are a metaphor of God’s protection
30 Hebrew - rachaph Meaning: to brood, to flutter, to move The concept: As a hen over her chick to warm and protectTo sit over, cover and cherishTo mature anything with care
31 The Shadow of Thy Wing SET ONE Psalm 17: 6-9 Psalm 36: 5-9 Psalm 57: 1 SET TWORuth 2:11-12Ruth 3: 9Isaiah 31: 5Matthew 23: 37Small Group WorkPick one set of verses and read themAnswer the following questions:What does it mean for someone to be under the shadow of the wing?Who are those who provide the shelter?FeedbackIt is God’s nature to provide refuge and protection.This has been manifest in the wings of a mother bird and the arms of a human mother.
32 Stories Stories Park Ranger Young man from Guatemala Poem “Scars of Love,” a poem written by Rebekah (Holsapple) Jack for her mother beautifully captures the motherly, self-sacrificing heart of God:“If a man came to me and said, “I am your Christ,” I would ask him to show me his hands.I know my Christ by the love which defines His character–the love that gave him the strength and desire to have His life in exchange for mine.”“There is no greater love than this–that a man lay down his life for his friend.”“I have never seen Jesus, but he knew me and loved me even before I was born.He gave me life, and when my own sin threatened that life, He died on the cross to save it, and no mark was left on me.When I see Him, I will know Him by the scars that bear witness to the unfathomable magnitude of His love for me.”“I know my mother by the love which defined her character–the love that gave her strength and desire to offer her life in exchange for mine.““There is no greater love than this–that a man lay down his life for his Friend.”“My mother knew me and loved me even before I was born; she gave me life. When I was a baby, twelve stone steps threatened that life, but she held me so tight and close that every cut and bruise fell on her own body, and so no mark was left on me.”“So mother, if when I get to heaven I don’t recognize you, show me the scars on your arms that bear witness to the unfathomable magnitude of your love for me.” Given to me by Rebekah’s mom Diane(?) Holsapple
33 Scars of Love Rebekah Holsapple If a man came to me and said, “I am your Christ,” I would ask him to show me his hands. I know my Christ by the love which defines His character–the love that gave him the strength and desire to give His life in exchange for mine.“There is no greater love than this–that a man lay down his life for his friend.”
34 Scars of Love Rebekah Holsapple I have never seen Jesus, but He knew me and loved me even before I was born. He gave me life, and when my own sin threatened that life, He died on the cross to save it, and no mark was left on me. When I see Him, I will know Him by the scars that bear witness to the unfathomable magnitude of His love for me.
35 Scars of Love Rebekah Holsapple I know my mother by the love which defines her character–the love that gave her the strength and desire to offer her life in exchange for mine.“There is no greater love than this–that a man lay down his life for his friend.”
36 Scars of Love Rebekah Holsapple My mother knew me and loved me even before I was born; she gave me life. When I was a baby, twelve stone steps threatened that life, but she held me so tight and close that every cut and bruise fell on her own body, and no mark was left on me.So mother, if when I get to heaven I don’t recognize you, show me the scars on your arms that bear witness to the unfathomable magnitude of your love for me.