We know that church is not a building. It is our lives shared together loving God and neighbor. Casting ourselves into a hurting world, we discover the richness of living a life that finds its rest in God. Whether we are part of an institution, a congregation or an individual follower of Christ, we are always being called to the realization that our being, our existence rests in God. No matter where our leaving and following may take us, God is there with us. No matter whether our leaving and following is our choice or the result something beyond our control, God is there with us. No matter what, God is there with us.
the church must acknowledge the painful realities that too many women face on a day-to-day basis over the course of their lives. We must be a safe space where awful truths can be shared with all the accompanying emotions. We must believe those who find the courage to tell us their stories.
We did that last week with Emma, remember? All it takes is open arms and willingness to hold on and not let go. Why do we make loving God and being loved by God so complicated? You welcome the child or you don’t. And when you welcome the child, you welcome Jesus.
Then Christianity will become the religion of the Roman Empire and a Messiah who spends all of his time delivering the poor, the lame and the outcast will not do. Eventually, Jesus will lose his olive skin and dark hair, in favor of something a fairer and more blonde. The changes will not just be cosmetic. Jesus will be used to justify everything from putting down peasant uprisings to launching crusades. To keep his teachings pure, inquisitions will torture and torment the poor and burn women suspected of witchcraft.
But what we have to work not miss with our 21st century eyes and ears is that she should not have been in this space at all. Women don’t talk to men in public. Certainly, when whatever request they have made is denied, they do not challenge the decision. Nevertheless, she persists. She is powerless, yet she refuses to behave that way. She has no recourse, but she refuses to let the matter drop.