As I prepare for my sermon this week, I am reminded of everything women have had to endure in order to be treated equally under the law. It was not that many years ago that women could not own property, would not be considered fit to raise their children if their marriage ended in divorce, could not go to college, could not do many things that we take for granted in our world today. Women were basically the property of their fathers and then when they married, they became the property of their husbands…maybe that is the idea behind a dowry, it was the price a father paid to marry off his daughter. It is an unpleasant part of our history but one we need to learn and remember so we don’t repeat the mistakes of our past. And this history was not unique to America. In fact, there are parts of this world where women still fight for the rights women in America take for granted and yet we have a long way to go for true equality. American women have Elizabeth Cady Stanton to thank for the equality we enjoy today. It was her diligent work that finally began the dismantling of antiquated laws that should never been enacted to begin with. I encourage you to have your sons and daughters learn about Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Wikipedia.
You may wonder why I am reminded of this fight women have had for so long.
This Sunday, I am preaching on two women: Jairus’ daughter and the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve long years. For the second woman, no one, not one person could help her except to take her money. That is, until she had an encounter with Jesus. She became a holy interruption in his journey to heal Jairus’ daughter who was very ill.
I believe it is important to remember that this was a time in history where women had little to no voice and yet Jesus gave women voices. Women are included in the gospel narrative because Jesus saw women and acted on their behalf. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this didn’t factor into the reason the religious elite were pushing to get Jesus killed. They were worried about the empowerment Jesus offered to women. It is sad that men have put so many restrictions against women throughout history when God created men and women as equals, companions for one another in life’s journey. And in our passage today, Jesus cares for not one but two women. One who is only twelve years old and one who has been sick for twelve long years.
This Sunday, I hope you join us in church or online to hear the message these two women teach us through Jesus’ actions on their behalf. I encourage you to take the time to read the scripture passages which are: Psalm 130 and Mark 5:21 – 43. In addition: Mike Ferger will be sharing some exciting news from our sister church in Cuba! Pastor Steve will be here as we will have not one but six baptisms and we have five people joining the church! We are so excited to welcome each one of these individuals into the family of faith as we all walk together on our own faith journeys.
Thank you for keeping Pastor Steve and me, as well as all the staff, in your prayers. Please continue to pray for us and for our community. Pray we discern meaningful ways to reach out to make a meaningful and long-lasting impact for God’s kingdom.
Peace, Pastor Beth Burton