Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 19: Year 2
“And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women,” (Acts 17:4)
The language of the Acts of the Apostles is very interesting. Christians were first identified as Christians in Antioch as explained in chapter 11, verses 25 and 26. But I notice that as we move through this chapter the followers are referred to as, “believers.” I like it. I like it because I think first of all, as observers of all that takes place in the world; each person must see that there is a Creating and Ordering Hand at work in life and in the universe. Once we acknowledge and “believe” that, we can wrestle with what we want to believe about our Lord Jesus and his relationship to the Creator. Believing is not limited to one sex or gender.
As the people listened to Paul and Silas with an open mind the Spirit of God began to make sense to them, all of them, men and women. Some of the women were people with power and it helped Paul and Silas to continue with the work of spreading the Good News.
The fact that women were included is mentioned again. Luke, the author of Acts, writes that, “Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men,” (Acts 17:12). These new believers were men and women with equal standing in this new form of Judaism, or the Way. I say Judaism only because Paul and Silas were Jews who branched off from their traditionally male dominated theology, to be open to where the Spirit of our Lord Jesus was leading them, and the new believers, all the believers who followed them.
This leadership is still at work today. When we take the time to ponder about the love of God and how God came among us as our Lord Jesus, we too, men and women, are still empowered by that same Holy Spirit to continue the work of spreading the Good News. Thank You Lord Jesus.
May we ever continue to spread the hope of the Good News to the men and women of Ukraine.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John