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Sabbath School for a New Generation

Among Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbath School is a time for discussion and learning. It is the belief of this site that Sabbath School should be an exciting venue for the discussion of new ideas, instead of rehashing old arguments. So welcome to a virtual Sabbath School, a Sabbath School for a new generation.

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I am an Electrical Engineer, working at Intel in the Portland area. I received my undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California. The views expressed on this website are my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of anybody else. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day Sabbath School Class

Due to the Mother's Day Brunch, we didn't have time for sabbath school. But here is an outline of the lesson I prepared.

God as mother

Introduction. Since I was a child, I was taught that the trinity includes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. While the Bible predominantly uses the male gender when referring to God, other texts speak of God as female. The lesson today will look closer at these texts.
  • When you pray, do ever call God “mother?”
  • Do you find it weird when others pray like that?
Biblical Texts.
  • Isaiah 49:14-15
  • Isaiah 66:12-14
  • Isaiah 46:3-4
  • Luke 15:8-10
  • Matthew 23:36
  • Hosea 13:8
  • 1 John 5:4
Discussion Questions.
  • How is God like a mother in each of these texts?
  • Is God male or female?
  • Why do we usual refer to God in the male gender?
  • How did the culture of Israel effect the portrayal of God in the Bible?
  • If the Bible were written in a matriarchal society, would God be our mother?
  • Why would it be helpful for some people to pray to God the Mother?
Conclusion. I find that the female imagery used in the Bible can be helpful for many people. God is beyond the categories of gender so it is equally accurate and equally inaccurate to call God, He or She. Ultimately, it comes down to each person. If the God the Father is unapproachable, maybe they should pray God the Mother.

References.
  • Dr. Margo Houts. “Feminine Images for God: What does the Bible say?” http://www-stu.calvin.edu/chimes/970418/o1041897.htm
  • Marcus Borg. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. ch. “Jesus the Wisdom of God”. In it he describes how Wisdom, a feminine word, takes on attributes of God in Proverbs and Wisdom of Solomon.

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