I have been thinking further about the "gender" of God, and in particular the title of "Creator". Over at Signposts there is an interesting discussion on this topic. One writer commented that she preferred the title of "Creator" because it was bigger than the more human construct of "father", encompassing all of creation. I think that by exploring the concept of God as "Creator" we can learn something about the interplay between our understanding of God and our construct of gender. Assuming a literal reading of the Bible, there are two starting points of interest concerning God as creator.
The first is obvious – the creation of Adam and Eve. Their creation does not fit our understanding of sexuality, or gender. There is no impregnation, penetration, conception. Creator God creates man and women in his own image, but transcends biological methods of creation, or procreation. Rather, God uses fertile (but asexual) soil to form Adam. God breathes into Adam to give life, an impartation of the essence of God. Man is the receptor for life – a kind of biological reversal. Man involuntarily loses part of himself to make woman – something is extracted, taken; creation of woman is not something the man actively imparts. Again this is very different to how the rest of us got here. Our sexuality is created by God. It reflects God. But it does not define God, nor is God confined to the bounds of our gender. The act of human creation is neither feminine or masculine in this context; these constructs are transcended.
The second point I want to consider is the birth of Jesus. We know that God is quite capable of creating humans without the need for human intervention, or human existance. He could easily have landed somewhere in Israel fully grown and ready to do what he came to do. However, God decided to enter our world through Jesus in the usual way – almost. Jesus was born of a woman through the regular rigours of childbirth. But embryonic Jesus was not a result of a sexual encounter. God defied natural laws for procreation by doing away with the male contribution. Why? It was certainly a sign, and marked Jesus as entirely unique in all of human history even as an embryo. I can imagine Mary imagining what her unborn child would look like, whose resemblence he would bear. Half the genetic material was hers, but what about the rest? God wanted Mary and Joseph to take note that this was no ordinary baby. It also shows that again, God is above and beyond all of creation. The creator of the principles of nature and cycles of life is not bound by them. God is so much more than "he" or "she" could ever hope to capture. We simply do not have words. We can conceptualise male, female, genderless, but we do not have language for greater than the sum of "male" and "female". In a way I am glad of this. To narrow God into our framework, into a few fanciful words, detracts from the rightful posture of wonder of the created towards the Creator.