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#3 Women of Faith

Sometimes I have questions or God moments I just want to share. Today I wonder why can’t women be Deacons? - Vicki

Short answer: I don't know. I am not a church historian or biblical scholar or systematic theologian. Longer consideration: What I hear in your question is that somehow we, the People of God, feel a lack. When the gifts of those among us are excluded by institutional structure, there is an inchoate sense that we are somehow failing to receive the abundance of God's gifts to us.

Our stories have always included women of remarkable faith and stunning courage. The woman who fed Elijah even though she was starving, Esther who risked her own life to save the lives of her people, Ruth who left her own people to cling to her beloved Naomi and claim a new people for herself, all the while risking rejection and marginalization as an immigrant in a new land.

Jesus relied on his mother Lady Mary to stand with him, loved Martha who bravely declared her belief, and trusted Mary of Magdela to be the apostle to the apostles in sharing his resurrection with the world. Paul specifically names Phoebe, who was a deacon, Prisca, and Julia "who risked their necks for my life" (Romans 16:3) And those are just a few biblical stories we know of women of faith. There are of course millions of stories - some we know, most we don't. The wisdom of Edith Stein (St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) rings out, "the most decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions."

In the end, our hearts know wisdom and authority is inherent in the lives of faith, hope, and love well lived. We, the People of God, have a cloud of women witnesses who have exercised their authority with great generosity. Let us be grateful for the women of faith who have come before us and live among us. May we be given the courage to keep walking ahead to new horizons and possibilities. And may we find our way to embrace the abundance of God's gifts into our institutional structures.

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