Hello friends! 2 days to go. 2 days to go!! Today is a tremendous reading for a reason that isn't entirely obvious. I don't want to spoil anything up front but take special notice of who is the prophet that the king consults in chapter 34. I think it will make many of you smile.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Who was the prophet in 34? Why is this so significant culturally and theologically?
- My Thoughts -
Many of you commented that you were looking forward to the NT because women are held in higher regard in the NT (as long as you don't read Paul) and I fully agree with you, I'm exited to study that too! But I think it's so special to be nearing the end of our time in the OT and poof a woman prophet appears and is consulted by the royal family! This revelation proves that not only are women considered equal in the eyes of God, but God also sees opportunity to work for societal change by speaking through and calling women into prophetic positions. Granted, this is not exactly evidence that women can be priests, but the role of a prophet is just as important as the observation of the sacraments and laws. (See Jesus transfiguration as evidence for that.)
While I recognize we all have our unique perspectives on faith and scriptural interpretation I do not believe it is any one persons right to be able to judge on whether or not God can use someone for ministry. Whether they are a woman, non-white, or non-straight. To think that we have the authority over what can do is the same level of pride that Hezekiah nearly got his booty whooped for in yesterday's reading.
I'm grateful that this church has been so supportive of Rev. Joyce and especially financially has supported her what she is worth being paid. (In fairness it's less than Ben and Lynn got but I recognize the church has lost membership in that time as well) Too often women are appointed to smaller/less influential churches that can only afford to pay them minimum salary while their straight white male counterparts climb the ladder of the pay scale / influence level even when they are awful preachers and even worse church leaders. (not naming anyone here hahaha) There have been women clergy in our conference who have spent their entire career earning minimum salary. That is unacceptable. So I am proud of all of you for being a witness in action that an amazing pastor can thrive here and through your selfless giving you've made that be a reality year after year. I hope that tradition can continue in future appointments as we send a message to the conference that women are valued preachers and leaders of God's church.
Praying the Hymns
I think you might know and appreciate this hymn today as we are praying "O Come, All Ye Faithful" Join in for this Merry Christmas in May! haha.
Get ready the organ sounds reallllllllllllll good here. You can imagine being in the room and feeling it's power wash over you. Thank God we have such an amazing organist here who can give us that feeling on our high holy days!
1 O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, born the king of angels.
Refrain: O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
2 True God of true God, Light of light eternal, our lowly nature he hath not abhorred; born of a woman, here in flesh appearing. [Refrain]
3 Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above: “Glory to God, all glory in the highest!” [Refrain]