Think about women in the Bible who were involved in God’s mission in the world. Examples could include Miriam, Sarah, Ruth, Naomi, or Esther in the Old Testament, or Mary, Elizabeth, Mary Magdalene, Lydia, or Dorcas in the New Testament. Lesser-known examples may include Phoebe, a deacon in the early church (Romans 12:1), or Shiphrah and Puah, two Egyptian midwives in the time of Moses (Exodus 1:15–22).
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, these women were caught up in bringing God’s redeeming presence into a variety of personal and historical situations. They listened, prayed, suffered, rejoiced, and often risked their lives being the women of God.
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. We can identify ourselves, individually and communally, as women who participate in the mission of God in our daily lives.
This message is excerpted from “Called to be women in mission,” a 2002 resource of the Women of the ELCA, by Inez Schwarzkopf and Barbara Hofmaier.
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