Monday, March 08, 2010

Made Female: Thoughts again on International Woman's Day

A few years back, while still in university, one of my church history classes included a day of lectures on Liberation Theology and Feminist Theology.  In the midst of that lecture, the professor distributed a copy of a document, written by Rachel Conrad Wahlberg in 1978, after a period of reflecting on the Apostle's Creed.  Would I use it as a creed in a liturgy?  No.  But did it challenge me incredibly, help me to see God differently, as a more loving being, by drawing upon images that already existed in scripture?  Yes.

And so, today, on International Woman's Day, I'm sharing "The Woman's Creed" with you again, prayerfully, thinking of this God I serve who created and values me as a female.  And how very cool a thought that really is.

I believe in God
who created woman and man in God's own image
who created the world
and gave both sexes
the care of the earth.

I believe in Jesus
child of God
chosen of God
born of the woman Mary
who listened to women and liked them
who stayed in their homes
who discussed the Kingdom with them
who was followed and financed
by women disciples.

I believe in Jesus
who discussed theology with a woman at a well
and first confided in her
his messiahship
who motivated her to go and tell
her great news to the city.

I believe in Jesus who received anointing
from a woman at Simon's house
who rebuked the men guests who scorned her
I believe in Jesus
who said this woman will be remembered
for what she did -
minister to Jesus.

I believe in Jesus
who acted boldly
to reject the blood taboo
of ancient societies
by healing the audacious woman who touched him.

I believe in Jesus who healed a woman
on the sabbath
and made her straight
because she was
a human being.

I believe in Jesus
who spoke of God
as a woman seeking the lost coin
as a woman who swept
seeking the lost.

I believe in Jesus
who thought of pregnancy and birth
with reverence
not as punishment - but
as wrenching event
a metaphor for transformation
born again

I believe in Jesus
who spoke of himself
as a mother hen
who would gather her chicks
under her wings.

I believe in Jesus who appeared
first to Mary Magdalene
who sent her with the bursting message

I believe in the wholeness
of the Savior
in whom there is neither
Jew nor Greek
slave nor free
male nor female
for we are all one
in salvation.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
as she moves over the waters
of creation
and over the earth.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
as she yearns within us
to pray for those things
too deep for words.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
the woman spirit of God*
who like a hen
created us
and gave us birth
and covers us
with her wings.

*the Hebrew word for Spirit is feminine