December 28, Year A

Inspired by Isaiah 49:13-23

“But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.’  Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”  Isaiah 49:14-16 (NRSV)

Much is made—with good reason—about the bond between a mother and her child.  From the moment she discovers she is carrying to the moment when that child is laid at her breast for its first meal outside her body, many women feel an indescribable closeness and love.  That closeness is celebrated and idealized in cultures across the world and across the ages.

And for many women, that closeness is their lived reality.  But for some, it isn’t.  This ideal, almost sacred experience fails to touch them the way it touches others.  Perhaps it touches them less; perhaps it doesn’t touch them at all.  For whatever reason, this most celebrated relationship means little to them.

For all that God feels toward us the idealized version of a mother to her child, God also recognizes that this image has problems.  And he assures us that even though some women fall short of the ideal, his love for us will never fail.  Not only has he nurtured and sustained us, he has etched us on his very being.  Wherever we are, whatever we have done, whatever we are facing, we can be assured of God’s continued care and sustenance.

Let us pray.  Nurturing God, you created us out of your love and tenderly care for us.  Assure us of your faithfulness, that we may be comforted by the depths of your love.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.