Saturday, March 07, 2009

Kvinnodagen 2009...



Tomorrow is World Women's Day ..Världskvinnodagen.  I have just finished decorating cookies for an event in the living room of good friends in Aspudden...I also finished a sermon to be given at Tomaskyrkan tomorrow on a woman from the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon who came to meet Jesus one day while he was trying to get a little down time by the sea-side in a friend's house.  She was distraught and desparate, fearing for the life of her daughter, who was under the influence of demonic forces...She knew something about Jesus, she was from a Phoenician, Greek-speaking background, not at all up on the details of the Jewish Messiah, but only knew that this must be the One who could help her...She could have gone to Eshmuns temple only 3 miles away, the pagan god of healing available to all her peers...a new outlet opening near you!...maybe she had...and it didn't work?...

Jesus sees in her what He calls a great faith, she knows it is He who is God with us, it is He who can help her, she has come all this way, all Jesus has to do is say the word, the Word, and it is done...She knows that we all live and move and breathe and eat and love and laugh and enjoy good times from the gracious hand of the One true God of Israel, and that He is right here on this beach...

Her daughter is healed, set free, from a distance, totally wireless...This Gospel story has a happy ending.  I think of all the women crying out for deliverance, for themselves and their daughters and granddaughters...Like the often clueless disciples who also yelled out to Jesus that she ought to be sent away, she's really bothering us, bringing in the downer vibes, the men in charge of many of these women's cultures, leaders, or the men who dominate and oppress them day after day, the idiot possessors of power in their land, just tell the women to shut up, stop crying, stop screaming, stop having dignity....They are the demonic powers today, women's daughters terrorized, beaten, repressed, exploited, sold, bought, genitally-mutilated, harassed, held back, held down under glass ceilings...

What do I, personally and experientially, and as a man, know about any of this? Not a damn thing.  But I listen, observe, live and work with women, have my own daughters, a wife who herself has taught me so much...I recently saw the eyes of a mother who, like this one with Jesus, was terrorized in fear for the safety of her children in a faraway land, and for her own safety, because she, as a woman, had dared to decide for herself what she will believe...No, I don't pretend to know the half of it, nowhere near!...But I see Jesus, who proposed a different attitude, who elevated the status of women in those days, who does so today in the living out of His Word in community, whose very words judge our world cultures, bringing men and women back into right loving, repectful, dynamic, beautiful relationship with each other and with the One who made us in the first place!

So my sisters, Eshmun isn't going to be able to help you, I am afraid, I am learning to understand your collective movements and alternative lifestyles and gender issues, and every so often you hit dead on to what Jesus has in mind, and I will gladly share your outrage and striving for dignity and respect and the end of violence, oppression, and exploitation...Yet I believe the One who met that Phoenician woman--I'll call her Rita--and helped her is ultimately the only Hope for us...

I celebrate and pray and stand with you today...

1 Comments:

Blogger CLR said...

Hey, I hadn't seen the snazziness of this blog recently. It is also Journée de la Femme in France. I suppose it's Northern Hemisphere-wide...

I will listen to female recording artists of the indie-rock persuasion tomorrow. (Not that I don't already but y'know.)

5:21 PM  

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