Consider women in the Bible who were involved in God’s mission in the world. Examples could include Miriam, Sarah, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary Magdalene, and Lydia, or lesser-known examples like Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives in Exodus 1:15–22. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, these women listened, prayed, suffered, rejoiced, and often risked their lives being the women of God.
Other women in history come to mind. Katie Luther carried out her own ministry of hospitality and care in addition to helping her husband, Martin Luther. Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Protestant, spent time in Ravensbruck concentration camp because of her family’s involvement in helping Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. She organized a Bible study in the camp and survived to bear witness to her faith.
Just as women throughout history have participated in God’s mission in the world (including our own mothers, grandmothers, and aunts!), so do we today. We listen, follow, serve, witness, take risks, and work to bring God’s peace and wholeness to the ends of the earth.
This message is excerpted from “Called to be women in mission” by Inez Schwartzkopf and Barbara Hofmaier, a 2002 resource of the Women of the ELCA. Today we commemorate Thomas Aquinas, teacher, 1274.
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