Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/3/2023: Proverbs 1:20-22

Today please be in prayer for

Coffeyville: First UMC
Edna UMC
Parsons District
Coffeyville: Trinity UMC
Parsons District
Dennis UMC
Parsons District
Burden UMC
Elk Falls UMC
Longton UMC
Parsons District

Today's Lectionary Text

Proverbs 1:20-22 

Wisdom cries out in the street; 
in the squares she raises her voice. 

At the busiest corner she cries out; 
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: 

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? 
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing 
and fools hate knowledge? 

Today's Devotional

“God is my FATHER!” the infuriated woman shouted at me. She was responding to an online service where I concluded the welcoming statement by saying, “Let us pray to the Spirit, that her presence might be with us.” That was it. Not a sermon. Just that one sentence, said deliberately but only in passing, resulted in overwhelming anxiety for this person.  

I was, and still am, puzzled by people’s rejection of the feminine image of holiness. We encounter feminine images throughout all of scripture. Today’s reading from Proverbs is one of my favorites. 

Years ago, I was challenged to think of God as my loving Mother. That practice enriched my prayer life, broadened my understanding, and deepened my relationship with God. As a result of this practice, two things happened: one, I connected with a maternal love that I had been missing for much of my life. My own mother was unable to care for me throughout much of my childhood and could be very critical in those moments when she was present. In my connection to the feminine attributes of God, I felt a maternal love and acceptance that I did not even realize I was hungering for. Furthermore, I realized more fully that I, as a woman, reflect God’s image. God did not create man and then toss in woman as an afterthought; both men and women fully reflect the imago dei.  

I believe both women and men are hungry for the maternal love of God. All of us have been harmed by the patriarchal and exclusive masculine language of the church that denies the breadth and the depth of God’s love, who is both our Mother and Father.  

May we remember that God is neither male nor female and share the fulness of God’s love by incorporating both masculine and feminine imagery in our prayers and in our preaching. 

-- Pastor Lori Schwilling
Lebo-Olivet UMC

Prayer for Reflection

Mothering God, thank you for loving me. Amen.  


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