Milcah sang a lullaby to her granddaughter Rebekah, born to Bethuel,

You are a queen,
gifted and beautiful,
a sovereign over kings.
You are the gladness
of ancestors, and
the celebration
of the future.

And Rebekah believed her grandmother Milcah, owned the inheritance that was sung to her. So when a nomadic king sent for her from afar, Rebekah declared to her brother and father that she would go.

I am a queen,
a song’s inspiration,
a vine to bless the earth.
To my daughters, I am
freedom; and to 

my mothers
I am hope.

And from the vine of Rebekah, thousands of seeds were planted — generations that bloomed, generations that held fast to the knot of faith, generations that upended kings with their songs in the palaces and the streets.

We are queens
with joyful flutes
and liberating tears.
Though kings condemn
our dancing and grieving,
rise up, granddaughters:
this crown is light.

Preachers and teachers, as you prepare for this coming Sunday’s sermon, who can ignore the truth & determination of womxn across the Revised Common Lectionary texts? The matrilineal line traced from Milcah to Rebekah (Gen 24:47). The dowry paid to Rebekah’s mother and to Milcah’s son (Gen 24:53). The authority Rebekah has to choose the timing of the return trip (Gen 24:58). The joy and favor a princess/queen brings to her community (Ps 45:12-15). The love she inspires (SoS 2:9). The victory that she proclaims with joy (Zech 9:9). Her children’s public demonstrations of joy and grief to shame the people’s cynicism.

(Meanwhile Paul offers a pathetic discourse on male fragility in Rom 7:15-24.)

What good news of Milcah’s inheritance will your sermon proclaim this week? How will your sermon believe womxn, dance with womxn, weep with womxn, uphold the witness of womxn, notice their burdens and create space for rest?

Share your sermonizing ideas, your homiletic approaches, your worship tools, your technology questions, and more in the comments!


The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God, a popular Lenten devotional, among other books.

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4 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Milcah’s Inheritance

  1. This is one of my very favourite stories. There are two things about Rebekah that I think we often miss. First, that she watered the camels. Ten camels who had just arrived from a long journey through the dessert. She pulled the water from a well in a heavy clay jar. Enough for 10 thirsty camels. I wonder how long this took her? Jar after jar after clay jar filled with heavy water. Rebekah was one very strong young woman. And I would argue that she was a large girl. In the Hebrew, she does not place the bracelets on her “arms” but on her “hands.” I wonder if perhaps the bracelets were too small to fit over her hands to her wrists? She also wore a nose ring — she was very trendy. I see her as large, powerful, full of courage and adventure, and beautiful (because it says so in the text). For all women who were led to believe that we were lacking because we were too big and too strong — our matriarch Rebekah debunks this myth.


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