It follows that as truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother. Our Father wills, our Mother works, our good Lord the Holy Ghost confirms. And therefore it belongs to us to love our God, in whom we have our being… for in these three is all our life…” — Julian of Norwich
This past weekend we had a beautiful party to celebrate my parents 65th wedding anniversary. Afterwards, a sprightly woman of 92 came over and shared, with tears in her eyes, how knowing my mother had affected her. She said, “I don’t have words for it, but knowing your mom has changed me.” She pointed to her heart, “It’s in here… in here.” I probed a bit, to help her find her words, and in the end, she simply said, “I don’t know how to explain it, but she’s changed my life.”
My Mom and Dad are Christian by faith and somewhat Buddhist by practice. They have two crows which they feed and are on a first name basis with, and two ducks that walk over to linger daily on their back steps. My mom does not kill spiders in the house, and she removes snails from her drive so that they do not get run over. Another woman at the party talked about their love of creatures and wrote in a card, “I don’t kill snails anymore.”
Eleven years ago, my mom and dad took the risk of moving halfway across the country to live near us. And during that span of time, my mom, who is 89, changed the life of that 92-year old woman. Now Dutch Reformed women are rescuing slugs and snails, which means, it’s never too late to grow and change! How exciting! AND, it also means that simple things—like making time for our friendships, just showing up and being present to each other, and doing life together—really are transformative.
Sunday was Mother’s Day, a good day to slow down and honour the women in our lives. I bet we each have a story of how we have been changed, just by getting to know a woman within our church or community and observing them. What we are witnessing in them is the manifestation of God’s love in feminine form.
Our limited language for God is mostly masculine or gender-neutral, and the articulation of the Trinity continues in this tradition. This can make it difficult to experience the Divine Feminine in the Godhead and keep us from experiencing the full presence of God in our world.
To see God, perhaps then we need to shift our gaze and look at the women around us. Something about my mother changed her friend, who felt the presence in her heart. This is spiritual language. I believe what she experienced was the divine feminine in my mother.
When Mary gave birth to Jesus, nursed him and raised him, she was the likeness of the God who nurtures. When the women showed up at the cross for Jesus, the women’s compassion held out divine presence for Jesus. They were the likeness of a God who is Presence. In that moment, when he could not feel Abba, his beloved Father, he felt Imma, the love of the Beloved Mother, through them.
Recognizing one another as vessels of Divine Presence can transform the way we experience the fullness of God. We can literally come to know God through the love we receive from one another. This can help us know and understand God, our beloved Abba, and God, our beloved Imma, a God who loves and leads within the full and beautiful spectrum of humanity.
This week, consider how you have experienced the strength, love, compassion, hope, truth, grace of God through the women in your life. Consider how this observation can heal and enlarge the way you see and experience God?
Deep peace and blessing,
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, The Church at Southpoint
If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.
Location & Zoom. We meet on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey. Zoom is offered if you cannot attend in person. If you have trouble with the zoom link, use: meeting ID: 831 1690 9977 with password: 753319
Sermons Are Podcasted
Catch up on Southpoint sermons by finding the podcast “Meditations from the Church at Southpoint” on Spotify, Apple and Google. They’re also available on our website: www.southpoint.ca.
Sun May 21
Lee Kosa (bio) of Estuary Church
Fresh Voices Acts 1:1-11
Sun May 28 — Pentecost
Fresh Voices II Acts 1:6-14
Sun Jun 4
Our Summer Series “Refresh Church” begins
Sun Jun 11
Anne Baxter Smith
Sun Jun 18 — Father’s Day
Anne Baxter Smith
New to Southpoint?
At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *
We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.
As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.
Curious to know more?
These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Read Pastor Anne Baxter Smith’s bio here. Our website is southpoint.ca.
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