One of the more sad and challenging experiences for me in Israel, was when we were at the Western Wall. There were a handful of Bar Mitzvahs going on. However, there was a wall that separated all the women
(moms, aunts, sisters, cousins, grandmothers, etc) from participating in this celebration for the boys becoming men. The wall is supposed to be high enough for the women not to see. Once in awhile, the women would throw candy over the wall and shout.
To know Christ is such a privilege and gift. Gal 3:28 God tells us through Paul, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
I think Paul gets a bad rap in 1 Timothy 2, where he is instructing women on worship, dress and roles in the church. The English reading of this text can easily be misinterpreted. Paul is not devaluing women here, he is revaluing woman. He uses words that show that women are included to worship Jesus, included to do good works (ministry) for Jesus, included to learn and become a disciple of Jesus. They are not kept out of the church, they are invited in to be included in becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
We see all throughout the Bible God inviting women to have prominent ministry where God uses them to change the world. Where the rest of the world saw women as second class citizens or worse. Are you glad God sees all women as equal image bearers as men?
When I saw this segregation where the women were kept out, it broke my heart. I wanted to go over and share with them that Jesus invites you into full participation in discipling your family, your children and grandchildren. I wanted them to see the full love, the radically inclusive love Jesus has for them.
It made me pray for them to come to know Jesus. It also made me start to think about the Muslim women....
Jesus, I know that it breaks your heart that these women are treated so poorly. I know that you have called us, your church, to build bridges with Jews, Muslims and others who are far from you. Your heart aches for them to hear the Gospel message and be adopted into your family. Please use us to risk and share the Good News of Jesus with them.
Praying for all members and regular attenders...
-to build relationships with people far from God.
-to discover their spiritual story.
-to follow Jesus lead to start spiritual conversations with them.
-to respond to their questions and concerns.
-to pray with some of them to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Praying for hundreds of adoption stories to take place among us.
Coming around a bend and seeing the Sea of Galilee for the first time was a very special and moving experience. My mind was flooded with memories from 40 years of reading the Bible...
…the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John lived on the shores of this lake and made their living from its abundant fish. This is where Jesus called them to follow Him. (Matt. 4:18,22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5: 1-11).
…Jesus often walked along the shores and sailed on its water. He taught many people the truth about God here.
…Jesus lived on this lake in the city of Capernaum which is being explored by archaeologists for clues about his life and followers.
…the apostle Peter's house was and is still here.
…Jesus and Peter walked on the stormy water here.
…Jesus did many wonderful miracles in and around this large lake, including:
As I took two runs, walked a few shorelines, saw Peter's home, stood on the rock where Jesus made a post resurrection fish breakfast for His disciples, I was reminded that this is where Jesus did everyday life. Just think of all the life-changing ministry Jesus did during His everyday normal experience. It challenged me to know that Jesus wants to change the world through us in our daily routine. Are we tuned into Jesus' plan for us every day? Are we available to Jesus to serve someone right in front of us? Are we available to step out of our comfort zone to risk to do or say something?
Seeking together to be available every day,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.