A church in Västerås reportedly bought an advertisement in a Swedish newspaper days before Christmas, inviting those in the area to celebrate the birth of Jesus with worship, Christmas music, and a Christmas crib. But it did it using a gender neutral pronoun.
The word used was “hen,” which is the gender neutral alternative to “hon” (she) and “han” (he).
Susann Senter, who's the female dean of the church, explained:
"There are many who have heard from us via Facebook, but I have also received positive reactions. We did not want to sex the little child right away [...]
Theologically, we are talking about Jesus as true God and man. A human is not just 'he.'"
She also went on to say that how people are treated based on their gender has been a frequently discussed topic at the church. She added that although Jesus Christ was a man, her interpretation of the Bible makes him “beyond man or woman.”
“If I’m a little provocative, most 19th and [20th century depictions] of Jesus are quite feminine. He is gentle, has curly hair and is not very masculine in physique."
The dean concluded that “it is a strain that we always talk about God as 'he'” and that “we can not change the texts in the Bible, but we can change our way of highlighting this.”
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