On July 19, 1848, the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, sparking a women’s movement that challenged both the church and world with the good news that in Jesus Christ, there is neither male nor female.”
“African-American abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth said, ‘I have plowed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me—and ain’t I a woman? I have born’d five childrun and seen ‘em mod” all sold off into slavery, and when I cried out with mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard—and ain’t I a woman?…Den dat little man dar, he say women can’t have as much rights as man, ‘cause Christ warn’t a woman. What did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with him!’”
Sometimes we forget we are all one in Christ Jesus. Galations 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. We stay so busy trying to make distinctions among us, building up walls and divisions that do anything but unite us. Do we believe that’s how God sees us?
We have a tendency to see ourselves over against everyone else we see. There’s us, oh, and those who are “like” us, then there’s everyone else. Men have done this from the beginning of time. Men are in charge! That’s the right way to do things, with a man leading the way.
Is that what we truly believe? Men are superior to women? White people are superior to all other colors of God’s children? One political party is superior to another political party? One tribe is superior to another tribe?
In my reading of the Good News of Jesus, he made no distinctions among people. He mixed with women, and minorities, and outcasts, and sinners. From what I read, the only distinctions Jesus seemed to draw was between those who believed themselves superior, better than, more privileged than, more righteous than others, and the rest of everyone else. If we are going to claim to be a Christian, a Christ follower, doesn’t that mean we should act as Jesus the Christ acted?
My gentle and good friends, let’s just remind one another of who our sisters and brothers are. Each one is a child of God, each one is endowed with God’s Spirit, each one is made in the likeness of God. Our task should always be to break down barriers, to tear down walls of division, to lift everyone up and enjoy the glory of God that shines in and through them.
“Creator God, you made us in your image. Male and female, you created us. We give thanks that you use us, women and men, to bear your image to the world. Open our eyes to see you where we have failed you before. Amen.”
Your fellow traveler on the Way,