The Women in Jesus’ Life and In Ours

1422766_42566222On Sunday we looked at the story of Jesus and the influence of women on the story of Jesus. And this matters because today in our world we still seem to set the bar lower for women. But the point is that Jesus didn’t – so Christians shouldn’t either. The first person to meet the divine in flesh was a woman – Mary.

The first person to discover that Jesus was the Messiah was a woman – the woman at the well.

The first person to discover the resurrected Jesus and be the first witness to the miracle that changed the world – Mary in the Garden.

The point is that women are central to the story of Jesus. And not just central because Mary, Jesus’ mother, gave birth to Jesus.

Mary did not change the world because she was a mother. I know that sounds controversial but it really isn’t. Mary changed the world because she was obedient and said yes to God. Before Mary was a mother, she said yes to God. That yes changed the world, through her giving birth to Jesus, but birthing Jesus didn’t happen before she said yes.

The point is that Mary matters not firstly because she birthed Jesus, but because she first said yes to God. Motherhood is not the highest calling of a woman in the Jesus story; obedience, faithfulness, and saying yes to God in his various callings is the most important thing.

So that’s what we looked at on Sunday; how important woman were to Jesus’ story. How in Luke 8 we read that women financed Jesus ministry. How Jesus radically included and welcomed women into his ministry. How Jesus bypasses social barrier to remind us that God welcomes each person.

And as we reflected on this reality we shifted to think about ourselves. If women were this central in shaping the Jesus story, who has been central in shaping our personal stories? What woman has supported us, said yes to us, and been faithful to us that made us who we are? Whose investment shaped the direction of our lives?

And after thinking of that we left with one challenge: to go and thank them. To thank them for their prayers, their support, their investment. Whether they  happened to be our mothers, grandmothers, aunt, friend, community friend – whatever – to thank those women who made our stories better. Because that’s what the gospels insightfully reveal about Jesus. That women made his story fuller and better, and I can say it’s the same in my life. So why not thank them for that.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Without women there would be no story of Jesus

Take Aways…

  • Women are central to the story of Jesus.
  • Not only are women central to Jesus story, but our stories as well.
  • Jesus interaction with women was revolutionary at the time
  • “Jesus actions towards women were controversial, provocative, and even revolutionary” Joel Hamilton
  • But what we see in Jesus is God available to everyone
  • Mary didn’t change the world because she was a mother, but because she was obedient.
  • Changing lives begins by saying yes to God.
  • God bypasses barriers to communicate directly
  • Women matter in this story of God.

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? Had you realized the important role women played in Jesus life before? What women have played an important role in your life? How did they impact and influence you? How can you show them your thanks today?

Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about the importance of valuing the women in our lives. Have them share who some of the important women are in their lives. Decide on a way to show them that you are grateful for them today – and then do it.

Challenge for this Week: Thank those women who have changed us today

Mothers Day and The Women in Our Lives

931217_47664381On Sunday we are looking at how women shaped the story of Jesus. Because even though we might be familiar with it the fact is this: without women there would be no story of Jesus.

And I just don’t mean that without Mary giving birth to Jesus, there wouldn’t be a story of Jesus. I mean without the support, financing, investment, and connection that Jesus has with women there would be no story of Jesus. 

So that’s what I want to look at how women shape and influence Jesus’ story, and also ours as well.

But before we get there why not think about that a little bit this weekend. What women have influenced and shaped your life? Not only maybe your mom, but grandmothers, aunts, nieces, school teachers, friends, adopted mothers, co-workers, bosses, or neighbours.

What women have shaped your story and have you said thank you?

That’s a good place to begin before we get to Sunday.

What is a Biblical View of Marriage?

All this month we are talking about developing deep roots in our families and friendships. Tomorrow we are hosting our first annual marriage seminar. Our desire is that healthy marriages would turn into healthy families and healthier communities.

Following the seminar, on Sunday I’m going to be sharing on marriage. This is potentially one of the most hotly contested topics because of the wide variety of experiences people have had with marriage. Some are for it, some against it, some want to find one, some want out of one, some are healthy and some are struggling. Through our family, friendships, and the world around us we all have ideas and opinions on marriage.

On Sunday though my hope isn’t to explore our opinions but instead to discover God’s plan for marriage. We are going to be tackling potentially the most misunderstood, and potentially damaging text in the Bible related to marriage. We are going to be exploring Ephesians 5 where Paul discusses marriage in relation to submission, sacrifice, and love.

The point we want to come away with for all of us in marriages, hoping to find a marriage, or even for those happy and single – what is the basis of a strong covenantal relationship? How do you have a healthy marriage? What is it based on?

So before we get there what do you think? What makes a marriage healthy? What makes one last? Which marriages make you think…I want that? What is it about some marriages that make you say, “they are missing the point?”

And while I give you my answer on Sunday…I’ll start with this. Healthy marriages are never based on power and dominance. They are based on something else entirely. And to discover what that “something” is we are going to explore Ephesians 5 in context and culture and realize that one decision can move your marriage from struggling to life giving.