Sunday, 24 April 2011

A Spiritual Sunday

A little introduction to this post. I somehow put on both my ‘religious’ hat and my ‘feminist’ hat in this article. I didn’t even know I owned a ‘feminist’ hat but it fits nicely on my head. Proceed if you dare!

It is Easter Sunday! And what a beautiful day it is. I was so so so looking forward to going to church this morning and then I realised that my friend that stayed the night had blocked me in with her car :( But I read my Bible and listened to my fave Easter music and I didn’t feel so bad spending time with God alone. And it was so great to have my friend stay over. We had such a fantastic Saturday night. She’d just loaded her ipod up with all her old songs so we spent about three hours hardcore dancing to terrible cheesy 90s pop in the living room. Awesome!! My boy roomie serenaded us with Bon Jovi’s ‘Always’, whilst kneeling earnestly atop the coffee table. And he also gave us a sexy dance routine to Rhianna’s ‘Umbrella’- complete with umbrella. Hehe, I love my friends!

So what did I learn on this Sunday? I went for a walk in the afternoon (to attempt to work off all the chocolate I’d eaten!) and I listened to more Easter music and tried to listen out for God also. I was really struck by the beauty of the everyday. It’s something that I am becoming obsessed with. You know, the little flower peeping up from behind a rubbish bin or the wagging tail of a dog as it eyes you walking past its yard. The more you look for it, the more you find it.

One thing I’ve also been pondering is women in these Easter passages that I read today. In John, Mary Magdalene is the first to see a newly risen Jesus. And in all the versions of the Easter story, it is the women who are the last to leave his side at the cross and the first to visit the tomb. They were the first ones to spread the Good News. I’ve never noticed that before. But Jesus and the message he brought was so radical for women. It was a message that gave hope to those who had been silenced and downtrodden. It’s no wonder that women are mentioned often as being part of Jesus’ entourage. And not just serving Him food, but sitting at His feet and engaging Him in dialogue. He spoke freely to them and never had to wait in line to speak to Him. Sometimes I feel that it is hard to be a woman in church and sometimes our voices can get lost. I’ve never felt opressed per se, but I feel there is an unspoken rule in a lot of churches about how many ‘leadership’ roles women can do. Like, they can be leaders at Sunday School- where they mould the Christian worshippers of tomorrow, but they can’t really be leaders in church- moulding the Christian worshippers of today. But whatever the ‘rules’ are that we’ve put into church, God doesn’t care. My favourite discovery of the day was John 20:17. After Mary has randomly stumbled across a newly risen Jesus, He says to her “Stop clinging to me" and it made me laugh. I got this image in my head of Mary being so overjoyed to see Jesus and just giving Him the biggest bear hug in the world and not wanting to let go! Exactly what you'd do if you discovered a dead friend alive and well again. It’s such a feminine reaction and completely the right one too. Male or female, we all have our roles to play in spreading the Good News of Jesus’ message.

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