women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says.
1 Corinthians 14:34 (NRSV)
Have you ever felt like there was something you were created to do? Maybe it was recognized in hindsight, but sometimes we know in the moment or before. That buzz of energy that leaves us filled with a passion and excitement that cannot be contained in words.
I can think of a number of purposes I was created for. God has already used my life to further the Kingdom on earth, but sometimes there are moments that I am sure I had been equipped with the skills for years prior. As God uses all things to make good (Romans 8:28) I can only believe that the Holy Spirit bestows gifts on whomever needs them, regardless of gender identification.
This verse from 1 Corinthians holds words I struggle with. You see, if you know me in person, you know that I just love to run my mouth. In fact, some might say that I feel called to speak. I have a passion for speaking out about the things I care for. I love to talk about Jesus. I love to talk about the life, death, and resurrection and I love to tell you stories of times when the presence of God has been revealed.
I am willing to do it one on one, through a blog, in a newsletter article, or even from the pulpit.
So who are you to give me the command to be silent? Especially in church! I want to sing praises! I want to shout from mountaintops! I want all to know that Jesus is my savior, and Jesus is your savior, too.
The best part is that the Bible has other stories that tell of women teachers, evangelists, church leaders. Paul’s first letter to Corinth has examples of women leading, too. And Jesus has even empowered those women himself. Did we forget about the Woman at the Well (John 4:1-26)? Jesus took a woman who probably shouldn’t have been listened to because of her transgressions and empowered her to go tell about him. The Son of God empowered her to lead when, likely, everyone thought she shouldn’t.
The scary part? Sometimes it’s other women, our own peers, our sisters in battle who try to silence us.
But God has created us as strong and faithful women. The Holy Spirit has equipped us with her gifts and the skills we need, and we are redeemed through Jesus death on the cross and subsequent resurrection regardless of our identities. Thus, we go forward. We conquer.
We don’t remain silent, because if we do…then what’s to stop others from being silenced as well? If we speak the truth, as so many women have who come before us, we will be heard.
And we will share the Good News to all who hope to hear it. Together.
God of Abundance,
Thank you for our gifts and our voices. Thank you for the individuality you have created through us and the skills your spirit gifts us. Thank you for loving us so much you sent Jesus Christ to redeem us. Through that redemption, may we find our voices to cry out as one chorus, sharing the good news of your love in our lives. Continue to give us courage and grace for others.
In the name of the Spirit we pray,