THE PRIESTHOOD OF MOTHERING

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“Now I know you are a mother,” my father says quietly as he watches me lean over my firstborn baby’s incubator the night before her heart surgery, whispering prayers and singing “Jesus Loves Me” in broken verse.

It wasn’t the decorated nursery or the nine months of anticipation or the little pink clothes folded neatly back home that had convinced him. It was the desperate petitions of a bewildered woman who had entered almost unknowingly into that Priestly Vocation of Motherhood.

Alan Cole, in his commentary on the book of Exodus, explains that a priest is someone set apart for a special relationship with God and for the service of God. A priest is to be both God’s representative for another person or people, and God’s representative to another person or people. He stands between heaven and earth, in a sense.

I think that being a Christian mother is an invitation to the Priesthood.

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