Three Short Paragraphs
A Rev. Steph Reflection…
Advent Week One…Hope
Odes of Solomon 19:4-11
My love for Early Christian Literature, outside of the New Testament, started in 2009 when I was in seminary. I was introduced to The Secret Revelation of John, and The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Being the president of the day dreamers club since first grade, and a life time member of “I don’t like that scripture” secret Christian society, these early writings made my closeted heretic thinking ok, and I was excitedly here for theological OK-ness. There was now ancient writings that said what my spiritual imagination was eager to hear, and that my Christian theological quest for the feminine in the Trinity was valid.
I wouldn’t be introduced to the Odes of Solomon[i] until a year after graduation, in 2013, when my New Testament Professor and mentor launched his new book[ii]. I read an Ode a day during the following Lenten season and my spirit leaped like John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb. It was like reading the Psalms, but there was more human authority and spiritual inclusivity in the way these Odes were written. The authors made it clear that there was a fluid relationship going on with humanity and the Trinity, and the feminine was obviously present in spirit and flesh. My Womanist Christian Theology had found its sacred text home.
Which brings us to Ode 19:4-11[iii], during this first week of Advent. When we read this Ode we see a possible new way of looking at the Immaculate conception. A way that includes the feminine within the Trinity, and brings a wonderful dignity to the Virgin mother, yet never diminishing the powerful role of the masculine Father, Son and him who sustained her through child birth with no midwife. This Virgin is more than a human vessel in this story. She is the mother revered for wisdom, strength, kindness redemptive love, “demonstrated in greatness”[iv]. My Womanist Hope for this Advent season that this spiritual inclusivity would ignite like a never-ending flame among Christian believers.
Copyright©2019 Stephanie A. Duzant
[i] “These forty-one “songs” of early Christianity come most likely from different communities in the first hundred years of Christ movements. However, they also represent for the most part a certain kind of early Christianity in their beliefs practices, and ways of framing the world.”
Taussig, H. (2013). A New New Testament. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
[ii] A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts edited with commentary by Hal Taussig
[iii] “The holy Spirit opened her chest, and mixed the milk of the two breast of the Father./ She gave the mixture to the generation when they were ignorant, And the ones who received it, they are in the fullness of the Right Hand. / The womb of the virgin caught it, And she conceived and gave birth / So the virgin became a Mother with much love. / And she brought forth and she bore a child, but without pain for her. Because she was, it was not without purpose. / And she did not seek a midwife, Because he sustained her. / She gave birth like a strong person with will, She bore according to the manifestation, And acquired through much majesty. / She loved with redemption, Guarded in kindness And demonstrated in greatness. Halleluiah.” - Ode 19:4-11 (Taussig, 2013)
[iv] Ode 19:11