Sunday, 12 April 2009

Jesus as a mother

The celebration of Easter is by very definition on a Sunday.

So it was not Easter Sunday today.

Today was Easter Day.

In the Church Calendar there are Seven Sundays of Easter, in a Church season, which lasts for 50 days.

So there!

Easter Day 2009 saw me in a parish which shall be nameless. It is a good place to be at any time of the year.

My attention was grabbed:

1. By the 9 years old acolyte. She knows every word of the Nicene Creed.

2. By the woman in front of me who was wearing a gorgeous hat pin. I have not seen a hat pin in years.

3. By a lanky 16/17 years old young man, visiting SRQ with his grandparents. Whenever his face relaxed, it relaxed into a smile. His smile made me grin. I told him so after Eucharist, much to the delight of his grandparents.

4. By the little girl (aged maybe 2), with a gorgeous shock of blonde curls. She was entranced by the music of the bell choir. Her very wise father brought her to the front of the Church so that she could admire the bells. She jiggled her head in time with the music.

5. By the child (maybe the same one) who cried out “yeah”, or maybe “hooray” when some music pleased her. She had caught the Easter Spirit.

6. By Katie, (maybe six years old) sitting behind me who was intrigued by the bird portrayed in a stained glass window. “Was it a swan?” she wondered out loud, “or was it a dove?” I told her that it was probably a pelican (**)

Matthew 21:16: And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (KJV)

(**) Pelicans.

Jesus, the Good Pelican?

There was an ancient legend to the effect that, in times of famine, a pelican would feed its young using its own blood.
While this is not to the best of my knowledge actually true of any pelicans, the story was widely told and is older than Christianity.

Given that such a story was widely known, it makes perfect sense that a pelican became a popular symbol for Christ, and was often found in Christian art.

Wonderful is it not, that ancient Churches saw Jesus as a female Pelican who fed her young from her own breast?

Think about this: Jesus is a Mother, who feeds us from her own breast.

The idea of a feminine and female Christ is very old!

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