days and nights
Lenten Reflection Week 4, Day 6
"Come, let us return to the LORD,
it is God who has rent, but God will heal us;
God has struck us, but God will bind our wounds.
God will revive us after two days;
on the third day God will raise us up,
to live in God’s presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
as certain as the dawn is God’s coming,
and God’s judgment shines forth like the light of day!
God will come to us like the rain,
like spring rain that waters the earth."
I’m not sure my thoughts today have anything at all to do with the Hosea reading, but there are seeds that got launched.
Theotokos: Bearer of God
This is often the name used for Mary. Mother of God. She gave birth to God. Or so the orthodox Christology would have it. But maybe the orthodox had the right idea while missing the mark.
Logotokos: Bearer of the Word
Pneumatotokas: Bearer of Spirit
Okay, I totally made up the last two, but if we think of our job as Christians as being the bearers of the metaphorical mystery of the trinity, it is easy to see how Mary became who she became in Christian myth. How could mere mortals, people who tend towards sin again and again, be the bearer of God? Clearly, the bearer of God cannot be a sinful human, therefore, Mary must have been without sin.* It isn’t hard to understand how this idea came about after Jesus was deified.
But guess what? We are all bearers of God. We are equally beloved children of God. Parents will know that when you have children, your heart expands to include every child equally. They are all beloved and cherished. Each has their own talents and gifts. And some are much easier to live with! But each is beloved. And each child of God is a bearer of God.
So the right idea is that Mary is a bearer of God, but missing the mark is the idea that Mary is the only bearer of God. So, if this argument is true, that we are each bearers of God, how can we stand idly by and let our brother or sister fail? Or even let our brother or sister have stumbling blocks thrown in front of them? Or even stand there and trip them ourselves as they walk by? It is so hard to be the bearer of God 24/7. To treat each other and creation with belovedness. I don’t know about you, but I get tired. When I get tired I get cranky. Okay, maybe I just get cranky. When I am cranky, seeing the God bearer in the other is difficult. Treating them as beloved is even more challenging. But that is our call. To live in the presence of God in each of us as Theotokos.
* Pink font denotes occasional use of inappropriate humor.