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Advent: Motherhood

Advent: Motherhood

In pain you will bring forth children. — Genesis 3:16

Advent is about Christ coming into the world through human vulnerability.

Mary & Eve

This image is based off a drawing by Sister Grace Remington. A few years ago I did a cover of it (with her permission) as a live painting I performed at a Christmas Eves service. There are so many wonderful theological ideas being displayed in this image. But what I love most about it is the look that Mary and Eve have for each other.

It’s like they were at some cosmic party where they didn’t know each other at first, but when they get introduced to each other they find out they are deeply connected on so many levels. They also have a billion mutual friends on Facebook.

Eve is experiencing hope and grace from brokenness that she never thought she’d see an end to. And yet her face could also be of a knowing mom bestowing wisdom and compassion on a new mom... as if saying “...parenting is one of the greatest and hardest adventures of a lifetime. You’ll love them, and want to have them forever... but you may see one of them die before their time, and that’s the absolute worst.”

In my opinion, the little that has been written about Eve has been used against her by male chauvinists. In the flannel board story of her life, she gets two paper cutouts - biting an apple and being cursed as the first mom to go through painful childbirth. That’s it! We don’t talk about how hard it must have been to do something for the first time. No guides. No mentors. No mommy blogs with strategies for maintaining sanity. It’s easy to knock down the forerunners of human living who made mistakes; it’s harder to see through the one-dimensional religious narratives that every mom has the unbelievable task of raising kids the best she can.

Mary takes the hand of Eve and places it on her belly to let her feel the manifestation of restoring Hope growing in her womb. And yet it’s also of the move of sobering solidarity - accepting the entrance into the great cloud of witnesses of brokenhearted mothers who’ve lost their kids too early.

I can never fully understand the deep connections and conversations in the worldwide society of mothers. But this art opens a small window into what that conversation might be like. That Immanuel means “God with us”... and that this divine Gift comes to us through one of us, into the womb of a blessed and humble teenage woman, and honors and dignifies the sacrificial and (w)hol(l)y involved life of being a mom.

Written for FaithGateway by Scott Erickson, author of Honest Advent.

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Your Turn

Advent begins this November 27th. We may have learned that the word advent means coming or arrival, but it's interesting that it's root word in Latin, adventus, also has some thought-provoking implications. It can connote the rise of a military power. It can mean incursion, ripening, and also appearance and invasion. So fascinating considering the meekness of the Savior who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was the sacrificed Lamb who took away the sins of the world! 

What a conversation Eve and Mary could have! What can you imagine them saying? Come share with us!