I heard a sermon recently in which the stories told about women cast them as both weak victims and powerful sex objects – that old and tired dichotomy. Alas, if only the preacher had read this week’s texts.

 Jezebel? Although she is the “villian” of the piece, it’s not because of overweening sexuality, it’s for her smarts, chutzpah and initiative. The woman with the alabaster jar? She combines emotional intelligence (or at least emotional expression) with worshipful devotion, and an ethic of service and hospitality which puts the males around her shame.
Centuries of Christianity have diminished the voices and stories of women – gifts which are only now being reclaimed. And yet, through all those years of shame and anti-sensuality and oppression, these two stories about these two amazing women – so different from one another, and yet so singularly well-defined – have survived. It’s incredible, if you really think about it.
These stories take me toward a reclamation of the feminine voice in our tradition. So I think that’s where I would head, were I preaching this week. What about you? What direction do these stories pull you? Or are you heading in another direction altogether? Let us know in the comments if you play.

16 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings – Remember the Women Edition

  1. Juniper,Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring foundation for thoughts on this week's texts.I am very much in the initial stages of this week's process but the theme that has come to my head is this: Where are we going to pour out our love… or are we too busy keeping track of who to withhold it from that we forget to pour it out at all.

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  2. I'm using both Luke and Galatians to talk about work and service.Love your initial thought kzj – thinking about translating it into service, especially since our mission statement includes the phrase "we follow in Christ's footsteps, who came not be be served, but to serve."

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  3. On behalf of the Needs Assessment Committee here I am raising up issues and questions around inclusivity in sermon this Sunday. Sort of using the Luke passsage but really using the questions.Click here to see more.

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  4. I reserve the right to preach these texts later in the summer– Youth Sunday this Sunday, so they're doing the sermon; Music Celebration Sunday the 20th, so the Music is the sermon; Study Leave the 27th! I want these texts! Especially afer that awesome intro by Juniper.

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  5. I'm going with the "those forgiven more appreciate it more" and saying that sometimes hose who grew up in the faith, or at least being "good" discount grace, because they don't realize how much they have been forgiven. Telling the John Newton story comparing to the woman and us as the host. And of course, singing Amazing Grace.

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  6. Apparently in our small town, we've gotten the reputation as being the church "who'll let anyone in." I don't think it was initially meant as a compliment, but in a biblical style reversal, I'm preaching on why this is a wonderful compliment!

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  7. Good on you Backwoods Rev. Was planning on Elijah for 4 weeks, but love this Gospel passage, so looking at how to link them. First thought is do we look for what we can get or take in life or what we can give or share. I can remember a time before seminary that I was going to lots of funerals – I was a voluntary visitor to an aged care place for the congregation – and realised that love was far more important than things. no-one ever said i wish I had amassed more stuff; regrets were about not marrying when they wanted to [family pressure stopped them] or damaged relationships with children or friends.is our life bound up in envy and greed and or in love and service?

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  8. The love of power, the power of love. Ahab loved his power, used it to get everything he loved and wanted. Only to be promised punishment in the end.The woman with the alabaster jar had the power of love and it changed her life. Where do you put your priorities, what's most important to you, the love of power or the power of love?

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  9. Sunrise, that is what I was looking for. bless you!been to the doctor today, and after 3 weeks of flu, and one week well, I have a virus, and been told to rest my voice, as well as my body. Please pray that I am well for Sunday. The congregation cope wonderfully, but I miss them, and am over being sick and resting.

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