Honoring The Mother:
By Rev. Susan Chamberlain
The same stream of life that runs through the world runs through my veins day
and night in rhythmic measure. It is the same life that shoots in joy through
the soil of the earth into numberless waves of flowers.
— Rabindranath Tagore
In the womb, who nourished and tended you before your birth? Who sent precious nutrients into the formation of your limbs and bones, into the vital organs of your physical being? As a child, who fed and clothed you? Who reared you to be strong in body and mind to live in this world? Will not most of us immediately think of our biological mothers as the answer to such questions?
Afterall it was their bodies that supplied the vital blood, oxygen, and nutrients necessary for our fetal development; they cradled us in their arms and nursed us, and set meals before us during our growing-up years. Our biological mothers were mainly responsible for us as we grew toward adulthood.
However, rarely do any of us think of the one mother who is truly responsible for all life that flourishes here — Our Mother, the Earth. Without her atmosphere, shelter, food supply and care, no life would exist on this planet. Earth, herself, is that divine feminine, regenerative life force that thrives in our solar system, the beautiful blue planet of teeming life forms.
She tends sheep, cattle, wild-life, and vegetation — all of life within her scope, and she most assuredly has tended to her human children as well, offering us nourishment and resources with which to build a world, to create civilizations and technologies.
Her body has grown us into a species of power and resourcefulness, but we are also a species that has within its capacities, the ability to preserve or destroy all life upon the earth, and to cause this magnificent life-centered planet to become a dead zone in the cosmos.
We have reached a critical time in earth history where we, humans, need to reconnect with our Earth Mother, and to recognize our very existence as coming from the womb of her being. Universal Spirit flows through her, and through every one of her offspring.
The noted theologian, Matthew Fox, says that man has to awaken to his cosmology — the recognition that the story of our existence started 14 billion years ago with the “Big Bang”, and that everything in the universe is interconnected in One massive web of life. That we live as humans upon planet Earth is a blessing of divine manifested Spirit, and with Earth, we are connected to the animals, trees, streams, and mountains; we are of One essence — born from the stars and birthed from the Earth.
Many of us have heard the expression — ”We are all spiritual beings having a human experience”, but too often we have become lost in the illusions of the material world where Earth is real estate and a commodity for hu-man use, and all the fellow elements of the planet are here for our own design and purpose. We behave as if we have the right to defile our streams and air with pollutants, and to destroy one another and the Earth, herself, to reach misguided personal goals. We have truly forgotten who we really are, and that the role of a child is to be grateful and to honor the mother.
We need a new model of humanity that realizes the sacred presence in all nature, that awakens to the needed stewardship of our Divine Mother if Earth and her children are to survive. We need a Sacred Ecology that recognizes the interrelationship of Earth’s elements, and that fondly protects and defends Her through honoring acts that support holy life. In our personal and collective lives it is up to us to be of service to the environment, to all of creation.
In numerous houses of worship a call has been sent forth to begin Earth ministries devoted to protection and care of our Earth Mother. Awakened aware-ness shows us that one of the major life responsibilities is toward creation. This call is heard at Common Ground Interfaith Spiritual Center in Tustin, where an Earth ministry, “Sacred Ecology”, recognizes the sacred hand of Spirit at work within creation. We invite concerned individuals to join us as we plan and participate in environmental projects and activities such as riverbed clean-ups, recycling, and other Earth-centered programs.
One of the greatest gifts we have as a species it to preserve our Earth Mother
who has given so much. Within Her magnificence we can see the living spirit of
I will lift mine eyes up to the hills from whence cometh my help.
— Psalm 121:1-2
Rev. Susan Chamberlain is an interfaith minister at Common Ground Interfaith Spiritual Center in Tustin, where she also has begun “Sacred Ecology”, an Earth Ministry, dedicated to awakening the awareness of God’s presence in all of creation, and is building a cooperation team to work on environmental projects and issues. Those interested in the Earth Ministry email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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