Lent, Day 10

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Can human traits be divided into feminine and masculine without it being destructive? The assumption of such a quest would seem to be that women naturally have one set and men naturally have another. Simple observation would suggests that this is clearly untrue in any exclusive way. Gender roles as we know them are not found in the original creation account. Rather a largely patriarchal society seemingly bled their false assumptions into the scriptures. The truth of God is that the feminine and the masculine are present in all of creation. If we are indeed made in the image and likeness of God, well then that should be true in us as well.

We see society waking up to this, and patriarchy fighting fiercely against it. It was “tom-boys” or “sissies” when I was growing up. The authors of the Bible had their assumptions of gender-norms. And by and large at that time they made perfect sense. I don’t see need to condemn it all. If a woman were pregnant and forced to labor in the fields…well clearly that would not be healthy for her or the unborn. So the woman was reserved to the home. And a culture built around this seeping even into the understandings of the authors of scripture. Perhaps it is easier for me to say than another might, but even though there is such an inclusion doesn’t make it right or true.  We have to view the scriptures through the worldy understandings of the authors. And I easily put forth we know more about men and women than they did. We have pushed beyond boundaries of their culture and their frame of reference. We are more postured than ever to receive the Divine Feminine.

The scriptures frequently point to a Jesus who was androgynous. Even the early creeds of the church elevate the humanity of Jesus over the maleness of Jesus. God became “human.”

Yet even still we view certain ways of acting, thinking, speaking, are viewed to be either manly or womanly. “Men are reasonable, women are emotional.” “Men are aggressive, women are gentle.” “Men seek justice, women mercy.” “Men should have pride, women should have humility.” “Men are the providers, women need security.”

But how would one place Jesus in these categories? How would you divide up Jesus?

Jesus is all-encompassing because God is all encompassing.

Jesus was an embodiment of both the feminine and the masculine. This shows our divisions and assumptions by sex are false. How can a man be fully human if they deny themselves the feminine? How can a woman be fully human if they deny themselves the masculine? God has made humans in his image! How can we ever find our divinity until we put these two together in ourselves! Anything less would be dishonest!

When God is exclusively masculine, we find the stern, judgemental, ruler God.

When God is exclusively feminine,we find the all-feeling, “loving” who’s mercy keeps God from any judgement whatsoever.

When God is found true, as both masculine and feminine, we find that God’s judgement is love! We find the God who is deeply concerned with the abuse of their creation.

The Israelites and early Jewish communities had a largely masculine view of God. It led them to great wars and terrible images of the divine. It led to terrible treatment of women.

And Jesus enters into this world, exposes the divisions as the falsehoods they are, and puts them together in himself.

“There is no male or female in Christ.” This is the liberating power of the Good News. Authentic humanity must reject the false divisions based on sex.

It is only then that the new humanity is born.

 

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