God's Women

Posted by Fr. Tere on 11/08/2015

11/08/2015     Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17; Psalm 127; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44

God’s Women

Today we have two examples of God’s women and how incredibly important women are to salvation history, beginning with Eve. Did you know there are 85 women or groups of women mentioned in the New Testament alone – plus 19 from the Old Testament are mentioned. In Matthew 1 is listed the genealogy leading to the birth of Jesus (1:2-17):

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nashon, and Nashon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king, and David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, … and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Five women were vital for Jesus to fulfill the prophecies – he had to be the “son” of David and the line was kept pure through the women – including those who God called to step in when the time was right. Without them everything falls apart.

That God would use women in a time women were ignored, owned, put down, denied, uneducated, and deemed lower than the lowest man, is extraordinary and unprecedented, and shows so clearly how God loves his creation – in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

Today we find part of the story of Ruth. Ruth has been widowed and goes with her mother-in-law instead of returning home [Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)]. Ruth chooses to leave her idol-god and to follow the one true God. By being faithful, even though she was not born of God’s People, she become the great-grandmother of David the king, and eventually, an x-great-grandmother of the Lord of lords, the King of kings, the Messiah.

Our other woman today is even more useless than Ruth seemed to be. Here is a widow, past being useful to bring sons into the world, too poor to make a difference in the Temple, to insignificant to even be noticed – but notice her Jesus does. That he would notice her at all would be unusual, that he would comment on her would be unbelievable to the disciples. Jesus uses her as one more lesson of the Kingdom – in the Kingdom, we are called to be in 100%. This widow knows that everything she is, everything she has, comes from God – and that’s what she gives back.

When we are faithful God can use us to do incredible things – often things we will never see, but the seeds of which are planted by our action in obedience. The question isn’t does God want to use me – the question has more to do with, “Am I hearing what God is calling me to do?” and “Am I willing to do it?” We may not be called to become the direct ancestor of the Savior or to give every last cent to the Kingdom, but we are being called to be faithful, to be obedient, to be “all in” the Kingdom.

While we may never see the result of our obedience, rest assured that the results will be there – remember, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11) What God speaks is already accomplished - promise!

I’ve often been told that one of the greatest frustrations of being a pastor is that you so seldom see results. It is not easy being called to be a seed-planter, but that is what we are all called to be. We plant the seed, but God waters it, and someone else enjoys the fruit. We are called to bear fruit in our own lives – but that fruit is not from our labor – someone else planted the seed, God watered it, we enjoy and share the fruit.  Fr. Tere

 

 

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