In most religious traditions God is thought of as masculine. The three Abrahamic religions-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-all have only one God and it is masculine. Hinduism has three aspects of God, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, all masculine. Is this predominance of masculinity as Divine from culture or from some underlying sense of the connection between the power of god and the sense of power in men, who are generally recognized as physically stronger? Does strength equate to power?
God can be presented to us by our theologians in various guises of masculinity as the punisher, often called upon by frustrated mothers in phrases like, “Wait until your father gets home. He’ll give you what you deserve.” Or we can find a judge who weighs our sins against our good deeds and sends us to prison or hell. Or we could be presented to the comforting presence of God our “Abba,” which is more God, our daddy.
How hard it is on us to perceive God as the only thing there is if we have constructs of the Divine as a single aspect of our human fathers. That is the problem for me when I say the word, “God.” There is that old concept of that jealous Being of the Old Testament who judges harshly(Exodus), punishes unjustly (Job), sends us off to prison (Babylonian captivity) and I think using the word “God” keeps that concept alive.
On the other hand, we can have the “Abba” known to Jesus. This is the Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipresent (present everywhere), and Omnipotent (all-powerful) Source of all things. It is through our realization that Abba is connected to us and that we can call upon Its full Power and Presence that is Jesus’ source of miracles and my personal comfort. I appreciate that I can remember that Iam powerful; I am loving; I am abundant, etc. What God is, I am by birthright. God has held nothing back in the way of gifts because I am not godly enough. I AM Godly. I am divine. And so are you.
What shall we make of our lives if we allow God the Father, Abba our daddy, to cuddle and nurture us in Its own image and likeness without feeling judged and found wanting? Let’s see.