My first act as incoming Pastor in my current Church was to offer a prayer before the annual golf tournament. I got up, took the mic, faced the golfers and addressed them by saying “Gentlemen”. The cry from the back came quickly and stung like a bee, “And ladies!” Women play golf too? Well of course they do. My only defense, and it was a weak one, was that it was the Men’s Annual Golf Tournament.
My insensitive slip aside, I think that we sometimes overlook the women in our lives and in our history. We often speak of our forefathers and the men who founded our nation or those who led our churches. Throughout Christian history we have used a misinterpretation of Paul to justify a male dominated telling and recording of this history. However, if we follow Paul we find that we are hard pressed to find him saying the same.
In Romans 16 Paul gives his final greeting to this audience. He begins by commending one of the deacons in the church, a woman named Phoebe. He goes on to list the accomplishments of several women. This is not the only place Paul acknowledges women. Critics can be harsh on scripture at times but remember that Paul is writing these things in a very male dominated culture. It is just as out of place for the times as the Gospel writers including women in the genealogy of the Messiah.
My point to all of this is to say thank you to all the women throughout history for contributions that have allowed us to be where we are. In my own story that includes a praying, supportive, believing mom, numerous women who invested time into my knowledge of God’s word, and many others who taught me so many of life’s lessons.
So, from Paul to me to you, here’s to the women!