For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this (Is. 9:6-7, NIV).
It is Christmas and we are reminded that the birth of a child was the supreme event in history. The transcendent God entered humanity! Who could have anticipated that at the birth of Jesus Christ, the God who conceived and created the world entered that same world to live? How wonder-filled: God lived for nine months in a womb that he created, the place of compassion sculpted in the body of a poor teenage girl.
He is a “born child,” a “given son” – the very son of God given for our salvation. The very child of the Holy Spirit’s conception is birthed – the gestation is completed with the consummation of the pregnancy.
- Be the Sovereign King of all nations
- Bring righteous rule, endlessly growing peace
- Reign from David’s throne
- Establish and uphold justice and righteousness
He is called:
- Wonderful Counselor
- Mighty God
- Everlasting Father
- Prince of Peace
And how will these things come into being? God Almighty’s zeal shall accomplish this. He miraculously conceives a divine child in the womb of a virgin teen. He forms his very son in the womb of a woman and will bring forth the Child at the appointed time. The pregnancy is marked by a three-fold progression: Conception -> Gestation -> Consummation.
A few weeks ago, my friend from Chile, Eduardo Gallegos Krause, sent me a beautiful reflection that he made after hearing my message on the maternal heart of God (from the book Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women in Building Healthy Cultures). We posted Eduardo’s reflection as a guest article last week.
Eduardo and his wife, Paulina, attended the recent DNA Vision Conference in Asunción, Paraguay. They had recently had their first child, a baby boy named Mateo. Through the message on God’s maternal heart, Eduardo saw his wife, the mother of his first child, in a new and refreshing way. Eduardo had understood that as a father, he would be able to learn more about God the Father. But Paulina would not have the same benefit. After learning about God’s maternal heart, Eduardo realized that his wife would be able to learn more about the nature of God through the maternal heart she shared with her Creator.
Eduardo’s musings caused me to reflect at a deeper level than I ever had about God as the One who conceives, the One who fosters pregnancy. Genesis 1:2 says: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” At the beginning of creation, we see the Spirit of God “hovering,” “trembling,” “quivering,” like we have witnessed in a mother bird over her nest and chicks. This hovering over the raw material of creation corresponds to the gestation period of a pregnancy.
God created the universe out of nothing, by speaking (Genesis 1; Psalm 33:9; Hebrews 11:3). It was the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, who stated: “Nature’s great book is written in mathematical language.” British astronomer and physicist Sir James Jean famously followed with, “God is a Mathematician.”
Contemporary mathematician, theologian and philosopher William Dembski argues that language is the key to creation. In his book, The End of Christianity, Dembski writes:
God speaks, and things happen. . . . Any act of creation actualizes an intention by an intelligent agent. . . . But in general, all actualizations of intentions can be realized in language. For instance, a precise enough set of instructions in a natural language can tell the sculptor how to form the statue, the musician how to record the notes, and the engineer how to draw up the blueprints. In this way language becomes the universal medium for actualizing intentions.
Dembski writes that Creation is a three-step process of the triune God. Each member of the Trinity participated.
- Forming an intention – Conceiving – the Father
- Articulating an intention – Speaking – the Son
- Actualizing an intention – Willing – the Holy Spirit
It is the word “conceiving” that caught my attention in this scheme. God conceived of the creation and then he created his conception. The actualizing of the intention is the work of the Holy Spirit in “hovering” over the raw materials of the creation.
We discover that God conceives the universe and then speaks it into existence. He conceives the plan of salvation, the rescue of the fallen human race and executes that plan in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. He conceives of the nation of Israel, creates and marries her. He conceives of the church as the bride of Christ and then provides her bridegroom. He envisions the radical idea of human sexuality for the creation of human families and makes male and female in His image.
This progression—conception -> gestation -> consummation (birth)—is known as “pregnancy.”
Now let me be clear, so I am not accused of heresy. I do not mean that God is a mother; that’s a pagan concept. However, in the sense that God conceives of a thing, then develops the idea – gestates, and then brings the idea into reality, or births it, we can say that God is transcendently “pregnant.” (Consider that we already use the term “pregnant” in other ways such as, “a pregnant pause” or “a pregnant silence” by which we indicate that the pause, or the silence, carries something not yet visible.) The things that God does by his very nature—conceives, gestates and consummates the fullness of a thing conceived—is the transcendent version of what we speak of in biological terms as pregnancy. The creation of something from the mind of God is the archetype of which pregnancy is the derivative.
In the book of Numbers, Moses, in his frustration at the Hebrew people, reveals something of God’s nature. The people of Israel have been set free from Egypt and they have been wandering in the wilderness. Three days into their journey from Sinai to Kadesh Barnea, the people begin to complain about God’s provision. In frustration, Moses cries out to God:
Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers?” Numbers 11:11-12, NIV, emphasis added.
Moses complained “I did not conceive all these people.” The implication? It was God who conceived the nation of Israel, who gave them birth, and is now carrying them to the land of promise. We see here the language of “pregnancy” – conception and birth. In this case it is the conceiving and birth of a nation, by God.
… to be continued
– Darrow Miller