November 01, 2017
By Jack Shackles, Jr..
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 (CEB)
There is neither…male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
The Word is clear. Our identification with Jesus is not based on our gender. It is based on the fully inclusive Word of God’s redemption for all people. For more clarity, we can look to Jesus and his interaction with an unnamed woman who was thought to be unworthy because of her gender and nationality.
Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well. The scripture records no name – just the woman at a well. Jesus talked with her, even though she was deemed unworthy in the culture and theology of the Jews. These were the dualities of his and her world. This woman, because she was a woman, was not worthy of redemption.
Yet Jesus knew that this woman was included in God’s redemptive love for all people. Kathleen Fischer saw in this story a path to growth and healing for this marginalized woman. “Jesus calls her from the margin to the center of life, from someone judged as unworthy by the tradition, to a role as the bearer of revelation to her community.”
The Word remains clear. Look to the margins of your church, the margins of your community. Might you encounter those marginalized, harmed by the world or the church because of their gender? We have a message to share with them.
Tell those who have been led to believe they are unworthy that they are the beloved of God. Tell them that we are all one in Christ. Tell them they belong.
Gracious God. We sometimes confess that we have an understanding of the role of gender in our theology and our church life. I wonder if we do. How difficult would it be for us if your Word was, “There is neither Male, Female, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual or Gender non-conforming, for you are all one in Christ”? Open our minds. Open our hearts. Teach us to be humble in your presence and in the presence of your beloved, whoever they may be. Amen.
Rev. Jack Shackles Jr. has served for the past 10 years as pastor/teacher Taftville Congregational Church.
November 01, 2017
Jack Shackles, Jr..