Summit Issue 11: June 12, 2017
“Woman in the Bible” Worship Series
“Is the Bible still relevant?” “Can I learn anything that will actually change my life?” “Isn’t the Bible outdated, written by men in a patriarchal society that oppressed women?” “How can it possibly speak to my life today?” These are some of the many questions about the Bible that I often hear these days. The general consensus (even among Christians) is that the Bible is a great book, just not useful enough for me to spend time and energy on it today!
Although these attitudes are prevalent today, I would counter that the Bible is extremely relevant for our lives. Yes, it is filled with violence and death – but that is because the world back then (and today) is filled with violence and death. One of the unique strengths of the Bible is that it does not cover up people’s mistakes, cruelty, sins, and abandonment of God. Instead it tells story after story of people – who with God’s help- stand tall in the face of racism, injustice, oppression, and evil. It shows us people who are flawed, but who have faith, and through their faith shine God’s love in a very dark world. Many of these people of faith are women. Women who have often been overlooked, stereotyped, labeled, or just plain misrepresented by the Christian church throughout the ages.
Our summer worship series this year will seek to lift up many of these faith stories. We have selected 11 women who played prominent roles in the story of salvation – the story of God’s relentless pursuit of us. Each of these women faced difficult circumstances, tough choices, ridicule, scorn, and evil. Yet in the midst of this, their faith was shining. They connected with God and left behind a testimony of how faith and trust in God is what we need most in these dark and trying times.
All of these women had their flaws and mistakes. But with God’s help in sustaining and lifting them up, they were able to overcome whatever the world threw at them. Throughout these stories, the Bible richly affirms the dignity and value of women and many of their stories provide us with spiritual insights and lessons. These women spoke words of courage and help and displayed a kind of God-confidence that is to be admired.
Here is a list of some of the faithful women we will encounter this summer. Mary the mother of Jesus, Sarah, Ruth, an intelligent and insightful woman (from John 4), Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Rahab, Mary & Martha, a grateful woman (anointing Jesus feet Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12), and a desperate and forgotten woman (Mark 5:25–34, Matthew 9:20–22, Luke 8:43–48). Come join us for worship each Sunday this summer as we retell the faith stories of these extraordinary women of the Bible.
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