Women and tea-making
Mark 15: 38-41
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” 40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Each Gospel writer mentions different women (though there is overlap) depending on who their readers know. Mark says there were many women, they had been followers of Jesus and had cared for his needs.
Apart from John, all the men were gone.
If I needed someone to teach me endurance, who would I ask? Would I ask the official disciples? No. I would ask these women who had endured watching 6 hours of the most cruel and horrific deaths imaginable, this was no place for a woman, but they were there out of their love for Jesus.
If I needed someone to teach me to have the courage to keep near to the cross of Jesus even risking my very life, who would I ask? Would I ask the official disciples? No. I would ask these women who endangered their own lives knowing that women along with men were crucified.
If I needed someone to teach me how to move ‘from a distance’ to as John would write ‘near the cross stood his mother …’ then who would I ask? Would I ask Peter? No. I would ask these women.
If I needed someone to teach me about the cross but restricted that to only men then I would know nothing of the cross (or even the Resurrection for that matter!).
Before we start complaining that there are no men in the church let us be extremely grateful that women are leading the way in church commitment.
In the early 1980’s my parents began to lead a church which had been wrecked by the Pastor leading the church out of its denomination ties into a new network. There were 4 people left behind when my parents took on the leadership of it. Guess who they were? Yes, women and all the men had left the Church and there were just 4 women who believed God had plans for that Church, they were right.
Of course not every women in the church are ardent followers of Christ. However, maybe today we can be thankful for every woman who shows us how to walk with God, how to hold up our faith at a time of church decline and how to be committed in the place of surrender.
Maybe also men should do more to protect them from those who want to side-line them, cut their ministry opportunities to tea-making and to have them as pew-filling listeners not leaders.