Bible

Woman's Song

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

As a preface: This post may be somewhat controversial to some as many do not believe in the equality or leadership of women. I also was one of those people only because I believed what I was told by others, assumed things, and watched traditional gender roles from the past that are impressed as "Christian" however are simply cultural and of this world. I humbly ask you read and journey with me on this glorious melody of the songs of women.

Gentle, beautiful, kind and nurturing- we women sing songs of grace over our families and children and our community. We paint with a lighter brush oftentimes then men and bring a different perspective to this world. Men bring so much greatness to the table as well.  We compliment each other well, don't we? Yet in many churches, women's voices are not allowed or respected today. It hurts my soul to be honest. We women have a beautiful place in the home, we also have a beautiful place outside the home creating, supporting, and giving back to the workforce or community at differing stages of life. For centuries women's songs of grace, beauty and strength have been silenced and shut down.  We have been told our voices, our stories, our contributions were not welcome. We were told to fear and obey men. Jesus came to change that. He came to set free the oppressed and give voices to those who feel they are whispering in the darkness.
Do you hear it?
Can you sense the whispers growing louder?
Women from days past have sung loudly enough that we granddaughters can hear them. They are echoes shouting, "Rise up daughters! Rise up and sing God's love loudly and brightly and with vigor!" I can hear it. If I look back in the Bible, it is echoing off the walls of each page and of my heart. Women matter. Women's voices are glorious.  God created us to speak up and stand up and lead for His cause of love, grace and mercy. Our songs are sometimes softer, yet can lead just as eloquently.

So why do women of Bible times stories matter to me today? They matter because the very God of this universe wrote down in a book just for you, His daughter, to read stories of our great grandmothers making history. There are woman heroes in the Bible and in history and in this very room. Heroes. Let me expound. Looking at the Bible as a whole, not just two or three misread letters to certain churches, tells the heroic story Jesus wanted us all to hear. 




In the Beginning
Genesis 1:26 gave man and woman joint dominion over the earth. Woman came from mans rib and man comes from woman's womb. It is cyclically beautiful isn't it? We are both from each other and a part of each other.  Genesis 3:16 cursed mankind and introduced dominion and hierarchy and sin. Not at all what God intended. He still used women mightily even during this time despite the fact they were often degraded, abused and had no formal rights. Rachel, Hannah, Esther, Naomi, Deborah the judge, Tabitha, Hagar, Jael, Miriam, Sarah, and on and on. Women of the Bible worked as nurses, shepards, tentmakers, textile makers, perfumers, traders and midwives despite our thoughts they were only mothers at home. Both are worthy but it is important to know this piece of history.

Jesus Came
Jesus reversed the curse of sin. He tore the veil in half, bore the weight of our sin and formed the new covenant.  He makes all things new.  In Luke 1 and 2 Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna were listed as prophets among Zechariah, Joseph and Simeon.  Jesus called women to share in his mission. He told stories of the women with the blood, the widow's offering, and women anointed him at burial. John 4 tells of the woman at the well and her testimony brought a whole village to faith.  In Luke 10:38 Martha and Mary were sitting at Jesus' feet among the disciples. When Jesus sent the 72 anointed, some of those were women. It is noted that Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas, Salome, Mary mother of James, Joanna, and Mary were disciples of Jesus.  In Matthew 28 women were the ones who proclaimed Jesus was alive. Culture was historically misogynist and Jesus broke that. Look how much Jesus himself used women in His story. He loved what women brought to the table of the gospel and needed them, half his workforce, to help tell the story. 

The Holy Spirit Came
When Jesus died, He sent the Holy Spirit to manifest in the hearts of His people as power to proclaim Him to the world.  Acts 2:17 says, "Your sons and your daughters will prophesy" as a gift of the Holy Spirit foretold in Joel. He eradicated the gender barriers in this.  In Acts 21 there were the 4 prophesying daughters of Philip. First Corinthians 11 shows women alongside Paul. 1 Corinthians 14:26 mentions spiritual gifts on each of you.  Priscilla, Lydia, Euodia, Synthe, Phoebe, Anna, Susanna, Junia and so many more were listed by Paul as ministers (daikonos), prophets and "co-workers in Christ" or "favorable among the apostles."

Why do I mention all these times women were singing songs despite being unheard and not respected from creation, to the cross, to the downpour of the Holy Spirit to today? Because those songs they sang- we women today can hear them if we listen. We can benefit from their strength despite their heavy oppression, we can re-sing their songs and learn how to sing our own. The Bible is littered with strong, yet gentle women. We can allow our voices to be heard as oppression has slowly began to peel away in much of the world.  Women are planting churches, they are chaplains in hospitals and the military and in prisons, they are scholars and teachers and mothers and pastors and missionaries all over this world because they heard the songs echoing in the Bible the Jesus loves women and hears them and created them equally to lead and teach and grow His kingdom. Jesus came to bring freedom from oppression and created us to sing the song that God created us to fulfill a purpose that matters. Jesus did not intend for the curse of hierarchy to still be today nor does He want to silence half His workforce. He wants to hear women's song and men's song join in glorious unity echoing across this earth drawing all people to His heart.

So dear sister, if you feel your song has been silenced or is only a whisper, look back at the great women of the Bible. Your story matters. Your voice matters. Sing the song Christ has put in your heart even if it doesn't make sense right now--keep singing. Another woman or little girl may be watching you and learning. Lead the way for other girls by following the examples of great women of the Bible and of Jesus. Sing sister, sing.

"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."- Galatians 3:28
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19





PS- I don't pretend to know everything about the Bible or women in it or exegesis however have done some serious homework and studied the Greek and Hebrew and original translation to really know for sure what God was saying.  I did this simply because someone told me I couldn't be what God called me to because I am a woman.  I would humbly submit should the Bible tell me this- however after countless research the Bible clearly showed otherwise. If you disagree, that is fine, but please look at both sides of the coin first as I did and pray. May the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you. Love and grace, Rachel

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3 comments

  1. So proud of you for writing this! We all have a calling, no matter our gender. God's energy is in all of us, we just need to figure out how to spread his love and grace in our lives.

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    1. Thank you Michelle! I totally agree with you. It honestly saddens me people see otherwise. :)

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  2. Such Beautiful, passionate, mighty and bold words! I so admire your determination to be all that God has called you to be. Don't ever let anyone hold you back.

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