Friday, April 6, 2012

The Women Ministered to Him

Mark 15:40-41 (ESV)
There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. [41] When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

Women make a prominent appearance. It is peculiar. No one at that time paid much attention to what women did. They just weren’t considered important. Jesus found them to be important. He died for them. They knew him and ministered to him. They ministered to him, took care of his needs in many ways I suppose. Don’t they today?
People get up in arms at times for the Missouri Synod’s stance on Women’s ordination, we don’t let them become pastors. My favorite theologian Bo Giertz was tried for his conviction that they should not be ordained to the pastoral office for the most of his career. Even today this is a fight alive and well in Sweden. One of the things he mourned though, with the advent of womens ordination, was the fact that women were now pigeon holed into being pastors. It was one more coffin nail in the manifold ministry of the church. When only men could be pastors, women and others understood there were many different ways to serve Christ and his church. Today pious people are led to believe that the only way is the pastorate. This isn’t true. I sometimes debate a bit with Walther that it is even the highest calling in the church. Shsh, don’t tell anyone. I just don’t like the Herr Pastor thing. I respect my office, and I love it. But I won’t get hung up on it. And I thank the lord for the rest of the congregation.
We are about doing the business of the Lord. The work can’t be done by me alone. Sunday we have three baptisms, three confirmations. I can’t wait. It is the result of a lot of work my congregation has done. We support each other. And the women do a lot of it. No wonder Jesus loved them enough to keep them out of the pastoral office. It does come with some baggage you know. The idea of it is being a servant to all, being last and least, washing feet. But if the pastor is to be doing that, than he needs the support and help of others. He sets this office apart for men, even as he doesn’t call any of the women to be apostles, or one of the twelve disciples. There work was no less important. To this day some of the most important work in the church is done by women teaching Sunday school, doing the work of a deaconess, teaching in our schools. And this is work that a pastor can’t do when he is doing the work of a pastor.

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