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Clear Words

Clear Words – When sleeping women wake… (Luke 8:1-3)

Today’s Reading: Luke 8-9

Today’s Reflection: Luke 8:1-3

1) Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2) and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3) and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

There are times when I read the bible and see something I never noticed before.  Reading this passage in Luke was one of those times.  This vivid description of women whose lives were transformed by Jesus life and ministry was striking.   Even more striking was that after being freed from sin, from possession, and awakened to the truth of the Gospel these women actually went with Jesus and the disciples.  This is striking because this was a time when women’s status was that of second class citizens, when their place was largely in the home, when a woman on her own would scarcely be able to provide for herself.

And yet these women were not confined to a limited location, description or definition.  Like Mary (and unlike Martha) they were not stuck in the kitchen.  They were at Jesus feet listening to the same instruction as the male disciples.  They were on the move with the Gospel, and they were contributors to the success of Jesus ministry.

A friend and minister of the Gospel who I greatly respect posted this quote on-line today:

“When sleeping women wake, mountains will move.”  –Chinese Proverb

Though not Biblical, it is so appropriate to this example of women in ministry, particularly these women who walked with Jesus and truly moved mountains in their work helping to spread the Gospel.

And this is a much needed thought today where the role of women in ministry is so often challenged, questioned and belittled compared to the role of men.  I don’t want to debate what roles women can or should hold in the church, if they can preach or teach, or if they can or cannot be ordained.  But what should be clear from this text is that the place of women in ministry is right next to the men, following Jesus, going wherever He goes.  And not just in supportive or background roles, but active in ministry, making a much needed contribution.   The church as a body cannot function without recognizing, respecting and receiving the God-directed contributions all of its members.

I hope this message awakens some women out there to take their God-appointed place and role in the body of Christ, regardless of what others may say.  There are mountains waiting to be moved.  What if Jesus has appointed you to move them?

Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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