March 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Hello everyone! Because March is National Women in History month, I would like to ask you to join my husband and I as we join other Christian groups across our nation in celebrating women of faith who have impacted Church History or even given their life – literally – for the gospel.
Many of us know of great women of faith such as Deborah in the Book of Judges and others like Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia, all found in our Bibles. But there are more. Many historical and contemporary women have fully used their God-given gifts, determined to stand on the fullness of the redemptive work of Christ. Their faithfulness has resulted in people around the world being reached with the good news that Christ has come. Although these women may not be talked about in our schools or even heard of in many Christian circles, without their tireless work and sacrificial service, the church would be a mere fraction of what it is today. Many of these women defied restrictive cultural traditions to fulfill God’s call on their lives.
Throughout this month, but particularly on March 28th when my husband and I will be hosting a prayer walk in Ridgecrest, CA for the purpose of honoring women in church history, I want to ask you to join us in prayer as we pray for barriers, strongholds, and abuses to be broken that are preventing women today from being and doing what the Lord has called them to be and do. We are also asking for prayers at women’s shelters, churches, schools, or other places in which women are being restored, or in places where they are still denied an equal place of dignity and value beside men. We also ask for prayer over women leaders and the men who affirm women’s leadership in the body of Christ as they sometimes face many obstacles and challenges.
During this month given to Women in History, let’s pray for women everywhere to know Christ and to know who they are in Christ. There are more world changing, history making women still to be born. Let’s pray for strongholds, barriers and abuses to be broken and for women to walk in the liberty they have as the redeemed in Christ, fully embracing Christ’s work at the cross! Let’s pray for God’s kingdom to advance in the church, our community, state, nation and the world through the female members of the body of Christ as they work alongside their brothers in Christ, in unity and servant hood. That this may be so, let us pray for the church to embrace the gifts of both women and men, and for healing females who have been denied their authority in Christ as new creations in Christ even though they were redeemed by Christ and hold full citizenship rights in the Kingdom of God.
Let’s unite our prayers along with Christians for Biblical Equality and many local CBE chapters who are gathering at this same time across the nation for a national prayer walk in honor of women in church history. We pray this gathering will remind us all of Galatians 3:28, which reads, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Praise God, the church for the most part (yet, not without a long time of suffering and abuse), is finally, today, embracing that there is no ethnic or social status differences in the kingdom of God, but there are still many who have failed to embrace that gender, as well, was redeemed. Gender, under the new covenant, is no longer a measure for authority or position, for we are all one in Christ. Let us pray for everyone’s gifts to be used for the Kingdom regardless of race, social status or GENDER. Let us all serve one another in love mutually and equally – All for Christ’s glory and His Kingdom advancement.
“In the early chapters of Genesis, God says, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a strong helper as his partner’ (Gen. 2:18, NRSV). Woman is this strong helper. According to scholars, the Hebrew word used to describe women’s help (ezer) means to save and rescue, a term used most often for God’s deliverance,” says CBE president Mimi Haddad. “Scripture makes it clear that woman’s creational destiny is to provide a vital form of powerful rescue. From the early church to the present, women have lived out this destiny, though often without support and in the face of prejudice and resistance.” And, I will add to Mimi’s remarks: many times at the cost of their lives.
Whether you believe that Christ redeemed women from the curse that resulted because of the fall, restoring their status as it was in the Genesis record, or not, you may still enjoy visiting www.cbeinternational.org to learn more about great women in church history. They are sharing new, inspiring stories of great women of faith each day during the month of March. One story found there, for example is:
Theodora, the empress of the Byzantine Empire, worked alongside her husband, Justinian, and implemented many reforms that helped the women of her empire. She is credited to helping put down the rebellions in Constantinople, and ending widespread corruption. She was a devout Christian who built many churches and was the patron of many orders. She was a prostitute before marrying Justinian, but during her reign as empress, she closed many brothels and created a convent where ex-prostitutes could live and support themselves. Theodora reformed many unfair laws regarding women which resulted in giving women property rights and guardianship rights over their children. She also outlawed the killing of women who were believed to be adulterous. She lived in a time of great religious upheaval, and many believe that Justinian and Theodora prolonged the unity of the Eastern and Western churches. One basilica in Rome refers to her as Theodora Episcopa, which translates as “Theodora, Bishop.” She was a powerful and influential queen, and she worked diligently to help her people
I hope you can join us in our prayers for women today and celebration of women of faith who have impacted church history. Any comments or questions just let me know. May God bless our ChristianRead readers!