Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
“This is a man’s world” sang James Brown “But it would be nothing without a woman or a girl”
In my house I am surrounded by men. Of the 5 people that live there, 4 are male. Throughout my career, as a science teacher and as a minister, I have taken on roles traditionally seen as male. And yet my sixth form was mainly women. The science department where I worked is now predominantly female. At both of my churches, the Elders are almost all women. Most people in our congregations are women. How things have changed since that one verse in Luke.
Much has been made recently about the role of women and the equality sought in their treatment, pay and their right to say no. We have come a long way since women were “given away” at their wedding to a random stranger chosen by their parents in some sort of “deal”. But not everywhere. Forced marriages, trafficking and slavery are still a huge problem.
There is still a danger, however, that, while the majority of women want equality – to be treated fairly, to be given the same opportunities, to have the same rights – there are some women who want everything and try to oppress men as much as possible.
Jesus challenged social norms by accepting women among his followers as readily as he accepted men. He did not consider them any more, or less, important than his male disciples – he treated them all the same. He acknowledged their worth and embraced them all as equals. As disciples and followers ourselves, may we do the same.
Loving God, you created us all as your children, male and female alike. You love us equally, no matter our gender. Inspire us to do the same. Faithful God, as we strive to be your disciples, enable us to work together to share your good news. May we stand up to injustice and speak for those with no voice that all may be heard. In your name we pray. Amen
The Rev’d Ruth Watson Minister of Patricroft and Worsley Road URCs