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I Have a Confession…

July 1, 2009

Before anyone gets carried away and starts scanning this post for some juicy tidbit, relax and take a deep breath. In fact take another one. If there is anything I am learning and becoming aware of through my study of women in ministry it is that we need to pause often and take deep breaths. As we do may our breaths become prayers exhaling our frustrations, concerns, questions, and burdens and may our inhalation be breaths of the Spirit to receive God’s affirmation, assurance, peace and rest.

So what is my confession? It has been nearly 2 months (really) since I posted and more than 2 months since I was consistently posting. My confession is to tell you that I hit a wall. I began my study of women in ministry as part of my Special Study class, a year long course for my second year seminary studies. I had fulfilled my required number of hours but I did not feel it was completed. And yet, I was tired of seeing and facing barriers, tired of hoping people will read my blog and begin to see the “issue” of women in ministry from a different vantage point. But the truth is I extend myself when I write. It comes from within me, words that are read are heart-words from me to you. They are a combination of pastoral insights as well as an attempt for people that have questions about women in ministry or simply do not agree that women should be in ministry to see the “issue” from a new perspective. Not a debate in which camps shout words back and forth, but to see the issue from a Kingdom of God by centering and focusing on the community with Jesus, which included men and women.

My confession is that my scars were re-opened and I didn’t want to feel pain. There are times when I am nothing short of a “woos.”

So here we are picking up words again, looking again into God’s word for discovery and direction. I am beginning to recognize how radical God’s ways are, the status quo is challenged and it is most often challenged when those in leadership (the Pharisee’s and the Council in Jesus’ days) think they have it right. I wonder if our eyes, those in the corporate Church at-large have our eyes fixed on self-preservation rather than on what Jesus ushered in and announced in word and deed.

One of my summer classes is the Doctrine of Christ. I deeply appreciate that we are given multiple ways of looking at who Christ is and what he did. One of our books for study is by Ben Witherington, a New Testament scholar at Asbury Seminary. First things first, his scholarship simply blows me away. He delves and digs into academic scholarship, the written word of God, the various interpretations of others and provides you with insights that further your comprehension of Christ and cause me to worship more deeply. He writes:

“Jesus sees his miracles as bringing about something unprecedented—

the coming of God’s dominion.  Note that Jesus interprets God’s reign

in terms of changed human lives, not cosmic or political change.  He

sees himself as one who is bringing in and bringing about change within

the lives of individual human being so that they can relate to God and

others as God intends them to do.”[1]

The in-breaking of the kingdom of God was here and now for Jesus because He represented and enacted God’s rule and He entrusted it to a small band of followers that included men and women. I was raised to see God kingdom as in the future—after Christ returned, after the new heavens and earth. Honestly, although I wonder at times what we have lost, I genuinely desire to work for what might be gained. Not individual fulfillment but upon what God intended in what Christ fulfilled.

In several weeks my Special Study will “officially” conclude and yet it really will not. I will continue to study. And this blog will continue to receive attention. I pray that women in ministry will find places to testify to their calling and will be encouraged to stay the course and keep their eyes fixed on Jesus.

Where do we go from here? The next two posts will focus on the Samaritan woman from John 4 and then we will turn our attention to “listening” from Scot McKnight in The Blue Parakeet.


[1] Ben Witherington, The Christology of Jesus [Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Augsburg Press, 1990], p. 165.

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One Comment
  1. Faith permalink
    July 2, 2009 8:13 am

    *hug*

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