Often, I like to look at what the OT and NT passages have in common, as I'm deciding what to write about each day. Today a common theme unites the two passages, along with a common question: "What can a woman do?" Unfortunately, many churches limit the opportunities that women have to serve God. I consider myself neither ultra-conservative, nor ultra-liberal. I try to have a balanced approach to reading and teaching the Bible. But I do get discouraged when I see people who try to limit women's service to God, as if they are second-class citizens. What can a woman do? Empowered by God's Spirit, she can do a lot!
|Painting of Deborah by Charles Landelle - 1901|
|Jael and Sisera|
Then, in the 21st chapter of Luke, we find a poor widow whose name is never even given. All around her the wealthy are throwing their coins into trumpet-shaped offering receptacles. While the clattering noise of many coins from wealthy worshippers resounds like a gong all around her, she quietly reaches into her purse and produces all she has. The tink, tink of her tiny treasure goes unheralded and unheard by everyone around her...except the One who matters most. From across a crowded room, Jesus' ears tune in to this offering that comes from the bottom of her heart. Financial fanfares don't catch the Lord's attention, but this gift given in humble sacrifice is enough to make Jesus stop and point it out to His disciples. “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” What can a woman do? We'll let this poor widow answer that question.
|The Widow's Mite|
Many people cite the Bible to try to prove that women are ill-equipped to serve, or that they are disqualified as leaders. They say that people who allow women to have an important role in church aren't taking the Bible seriously, or that they aren't believing it in its entirety. But it's because I take the Bible seriously and believe it in its entirety that I support women who want to lead and women who want to serve. What can a woman do? Empowered by God's Spirit, she can do a lot! She can boldly say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4;13)!"