Week 2 – Goddess Birthing Liberation: A Feminist Advent Daily Devotional by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir


If you have not yet realized that the Christmas story is a story of liberation from oppression, it is time to realize that. I like to dust off the patriarchy and mysogyny of scriptural writers to find the beautiful wisdom within the stories. Here is my daily devotional for the second week of Advent, the week of Peace. May our ever-birthing Goddess guide you to recognize and birth Peace, with all Creation. As the sky turns dark, may our candles shine ever brighter, together.


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 8:


The Peaceful Kin-dom

New shoots shall grow out from the stumps of old trees,

and branches shall grow out of their roots.

The spirit of Eternal Becoming rests on young prophets of Goddess,

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of counsel and might,

the spirit of knowledge and the reverence of Gaia.

Their delight shall be in the reverence of Gaia.

They shall not judge by the diseased eyes of their culture,

or decide by the distorted ears of falseness or deceit;

but with righteousness they shall proclaim justice for the poor,

and bring abundance to the meek of the earth;

they shall heal the earth with the birth canals of their mouths,

and with the breath of their lips they shall redeem the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt around their waists,

and faithfulness the belt around their wombs.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,

the leopard shall lie down with the kid,

the calf and the lion and the fatling together,

and a little girl shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze,

their young shall lie down together;

and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,

and the weaned child shall put her hand on the adder’s den.

They will not hurt or destroy

on all my holy mountain;

for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Eternal Womb

as her waters cover the sea.


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 9:

 

Hallelujah Chorus, Reborn:

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

For Life and Love and Justice reigneth.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

For Life and Love and Justice reigneth.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 

The kingdom of this world

Is become

The kin-dom of all Love And of all Life, and of all Life;

And Peace shall reign for ever and ever,

For ever and ever, forever and ever,

Kin, all kin, and Love, all Love,

Kin, all kin, and Love, all Love,

 

And Love, all Love,

And Peace shall reign,

And Peace shall reign forever and ever,

Kin, all kin, forever and ever!

And Love, all Love,

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 

And Peace shall reign forever and ever,

Kin, all kin! and Love, all Love!

And Peace shall reign forever and ever,

Kin, all kin! And Love, all Love!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

 

by George Frideric Handel, revised by Trelawney J. Grenfell-Muir


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 10:

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19, rev.

Teach the kindred your justice, O Goddess,

and teach your righteousness to every soul

That we may treat each other righteously

and liberate the poor with justice;

That the mountains may bring their wisdom to the people,

and the little hills bring righteousness.

 

Love shall defend the needy among all the Earth;

Love shall rescue the poor and redeem the oppressor.

Love shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,

from one generation to another.

Love shall come down like rain upon the mown field,

like showers that water the earth.

 

With Love’s kin-dom shall Gaia flourish;

there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.

Blessed be the Goddess, the Womb of Gaia,

who through the kindred does wondrous deeds!

And blessed be the Eternal Source of Becoming for ever!

and may all the Earth be filled with the glory of Love.

Amen.

Amen.


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 11:

Romans 15:4-13, rev.

Ancient stories, myths, and wisdom have beautiful value to teach us many things; reading how steadfastly our ancestors kept trying to find paths of truth, goodness, and justice can encourage us to keep trying and give us hope. May the Goddess of steadfastness and encouragement guide all the kindred of Gaia to live in harmony with one another, understanding that all Earth and its inhabitants are sacred and divine, so that together our harmony may with one voice glorify the Eternal Womb, Source of All Becoming, Giver of All Wisdom.

The Good Spell is for All Creation

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Sister Wisdom embodies all the kindred, for the glory of Gaia. For I tell you that Sister Wisdom has been Guide to the ancestors of all Gaia, every human and community, every plant and tree, the waters that cover the Earth and the stony fires at its core, in order that all Creation may be united in the same promise of Peace, and in order that all the kindred may share in the glorious kin-dom of Love and Justice. As it is written,

“Therefore I will embody you among all the kindred,

and sing praises to your name”;

and again she says,

“Rejoice, O Gaia, with her kindred”;

and again,

“Praise the Womb, all you kindred,

and let all Creation praise her”;

and again Isaiah says,

“The root of the ancient tree shall come,

the new shoot rises to heal the kindred;

in her the kindred shall hope.”

May the Goddess of hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in trusting her presence within you, so that you may abound in Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit in your every breath.


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 12:

 

The Proclamation of Joanna the Midwife

In those days Joanna the Midwife appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kin-dom of JustPeace is pregnant among us!” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when she said,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of Eternal Rebirth,

make Love’s paths straight.’”

Now Joanna wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around her waist, and her food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of the cities and all Gaia were going out to her, and all the region along the waters, and they were washed by her in the Holy Birth Waters of the river, confessing their fears and wounds, their obstacles to letting wellness flow within and through them, and committing to healing within themselves and among all the kindred.

But when she saw certain rulers and leaders coming for her blessing of rebirth, she said to them,

“You brood of vipers! How dare you expect to join in the blessed kin-dom of JustPeace when you are trying to destroy it? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Sarah and Hagar as our ancestors’; for I tell you, Gaia is able from these stones to raise up children to Hagar and Sarah. Even now the blight is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit will wither and die.

“I birth you with water for healing and new life, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; my wisdom is as the dust on her sandals. She will birth you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Her winnowing fork is in her hand, and she will clear her threshing floor and will gather her wheat into the granary; but the chaff she will give to the compost, that it may be cleansed, healed, and reborn as soil.”


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 13

 

This is my song, O Source of all Creation,

A song of Peace for lands afar and mine;

This is my home, the country where my heart is;

Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:

But other hearts in other lands are beating

With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

 

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,

And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;

But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,

And skies are everywhere as blue as mine:

O hear my song, thou Womb of all Creation,

A song of Peace for their land and for mine.

 

This is my song, O Hope of all Creation,

A prayer that Peace transcends in every place;

And yet I pray for my beloved country —

The reassurance of thy Healing Grace:

Love, help us find our one-ness in Creation,

In spite of differences we ever face.

 

May truth and freedom come to all Creation;

May Peace abound where strife has raged so long;

That each may seek to love and build together,

An Earth united, righting every wrong;

An Earth united in its love for freedom,

Proclaiming Peace together in one song.

 

This is my prayer, O Guide of all Creation,

Thy kin-dom come, on Earth, thy Peace be sown;

Let every heart be open in true welcome:

An Earth united, healed to live as one;

O hear my prayer, thou Breath of all Creation,

Myself I give thee, let thy New Birth come.

 

—by Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness, revised by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir; also includes some revisions by Tallessyn Grenfell-Muir


Feminist Advent Daily Devotional, Day 14

 

What Peace is not:

Peace is not refusing to disrupt the violent status quo. Peace is not ignoring the troubles of the world so that we can feel comfortable. Peace is not a temporary escape from the stresses and bustle of our lives.

What Peace is:

Peace is embracing the rhythms of life, death, and rebirth, of light, darkness, and new light. Peace is to know, even as our wounds and fears threaten to devour us, even as nothing is under our control, that healing is possible, that there is Goodness and Kindness and Beauty just waiting for the chance to seep gently into our hearts and remind us that we are always held, cradled in infinite Love. Peace is letting go.

 

 

Trelawney Grenfell-Muir teaches courses about Sex, Dating, Marriage, and Work in the Religion and Theological Studies Department at Merrimack College and about Cross Cultural Conflict in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A Senior Discussant at the Religion and the Practices of Peace Initiative at Harvard University, she holds an M.Div. from the Boston University School of Theology with a concentration in Religion and Conflict, and a Ph.D. in Conflict Studies and Religion with the University Professors Program at Boston University. She currently writes articles, book chapters, and liturgical resources about feminist, nature-based Christianity.



Categories: Advent, Art, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, Feminist Theology, General, God, holiday, meditations

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10 replies

  1. So delightfully, so profoundly you inscribed
    on that beautiful garden photo, thank you for —
    these lovely words, thank you, Trelawney —

    “O come, O come, great
    Womb of Life, Who
    ever heals all brokenness
    and strife. Our ancestors
    thy stories told In
    sacred wisdom myths
    of old. REJOICE! REJOICE!
    Emmanuel is born
    in thee! O sing Noel!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Fran, that means a lot! These sacred wisdom myths do bring me much comfort, and I’m glad our sharing here can comfort us all. <3

      Like

  2. Emmanuel is El (God masc) with us, could it be Elah with us, Emmanu-Elah? and rescure… Isra-Elah? Just asking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love these sorts of explorations. The way I understand it, while “Eloah” is used as masculine or feminine (for example, giving birth to Israel in Deut 32:18), similar to the word “Allah” in Islam, which is also intended to be both female and male, but only masculine grammar is used with Allah in the Qu’ran. So some scholars consider the word El in its Hebrew context (as post-pagan) as a general root that can be either masculine or feminine. However, it seems the word was taken from the pagans, for whom El was indeed a specific male deity. Also, the word El is part of Elat or Elah the same way the word God is part of the word Goddess. So just as in English people sometimes use female imagery or pronouns for God, sometimes in the HB writers use female pronouns and imagery for El, or Elohim (plural), and the root word “el” is often used to stick on to other words to make them about god or about divinity. I think that, as usual, there are ways in which both approaches help break down people’s blinders and assumptions of maleness. I sometimes wonder if we should come up with a male-specific word for the divine, so that the root word isn’t the male word. So instead of God and Goddess, we have Goddenn and Goddess or something. Elan and Elah. I don’t know, just so the root can be actually neutral. I love the idea of “O come, o come, Emmanu-Elah” etc – it sounds really beautiful to me. And maybe for others, once they get used to the female words and symbols in the song itself, they will also arrive at a place where they enjoy it as well. Thanks for these ideas, very interesting and helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So moving!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like what you’re doing with words: “kin-dom.” Let’s get rid of the kings! Let the mothers lead and guide us in all seasons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Barbara! I agree! Kin-dom or kindom was first made public by Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, who learned it from her friend Georgene Wilson, O.S.F. I learned the word in seminary back 18 years ago in 2001, and I’ve been in love with it ever since! :)

      Like

  5. Yayyyy I’m really enjoying these!

    Like

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