In the Jewish home, before the sun fully sets, the woman alone strikes the match and lights the candles to hold back the darkness that is encroaching. She declares the blessing of Sabbath. She sets the atmosphere for worship. For Jews, it is a long history of a repeated pattern—women welcoming the Sabbath. Their traditions invite us as Christian women into the same history—to become women of strength who bring light and create an atmosphere for worship for our homes and our world.
We are women of the light.
Throughout Scripture women are heroes (Rahab), and light-bringers (Mary the mother of Christ), warriors (Deborah and Jael), and prayer forces to imitate (Hanna and Anna). We are willing to lay down our lives for our children (midwives and mothers in Egypt), and sacrifice for our nation and people (Esther).
We stand in the center of the home and call for the light to come into our lives and the lives of our husbands and children and the world around us. We are intercessors full of love, and we are more than half of the Church. We worship and are psalmists (Mary and Miriam) and we serve diligently (Martha). We care for the needy (Tabitha in Acts) and are businesswomen who hold prayer meetings (Lydia). We teach like Priscilla, hear from God, like Anna, and prophesy like Deborah, Elizabeth, and the four virgin daughters in Acts 21.
Throughout history we are marginalized. But God has not declared us small, or void, or less-than–we have equal access to all the promises of God, and the Holy Spirit indwells US. We are warriors for the next generation, like Deborah—a mother in Israel. We are singularly created and called to a Kingdom life of intimacy and courage; our part is absolutely critical to the story.
We teach our sons and daughters like Timothy’s mother, and are full of compassion–like the women who went to tend Christ’s body and showed up first at the grave. We shed tears for our own sins and the sins of others onto the feet of Christ. We know his glory exceeds ours, and he is the hope of salvation. We are thankful for forgiveness and the assurance that his love for us is consistent and eternally faithful–even as women. He does not cast us out.
He raises us up. He raises us to be more than we ever imagined we could be—to be strong in ways we feel weak. He gives us the courage to fight for children—young and old, to minister in the darkness of poverty, to call forth beauty and redeem the culture. He calls us to join the fight for children’s minds in classrooms and Sunday schools.
There are women I know who exchange blows with evil over pornography, prostitution and human trafficking. Others swing it out against drug addiction and teen pregnancy or fight for minds in counseling. They champion foster children, care for the disabled and elderly, and adopt orphans while writing about it on their blogs and in books. Women join the ranks of men in remote places on the battlefield of the nations and on impoverished streets in inner cities. Others enter the world of the arts to declare, even there, Jesus reigns. Some tend their families and homes with such beauty and grace that Christ is exalted magnificently.
We are people of faith, followers of Christ.
We are amazing. We are terrifying when we are angry at evil as it seeks to devour our young, our nation, and our world. We are a force to be reckoned with when we are in Christ working and led by His Spirit.
We are a warrior-Bride. The Beloved. A mother in Israel. And we are making a difference in the Kingdom of God.
This link inspired this blog.