Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Pastor

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. ~Esther 4:16

My pastor, bless her, was in the middle of a very good sermon last Sunday. As she weaved the threads of her sermon together, she worked up to an analogy of having several children and loving them all, although they are all so different. This was to make a point, of course, and she was at an intense and serious segment of her sermon. Then she quite unexpectedly asked, "Who could say they have a favorite child?" At this point, I am sure, there was meant to be that ever poignant pregnant pause so we would pondered this profound precept. However, my husband and I turned our eyes toward each other briefly, half in disbelief of such an opportunity, as my hand shot up! Proof we were really listening to the sermon, at least, as the laughter rang out behind us and those in front turned their heads to join in. Having only one, I have the rare privilege of having "a favorite child."

I so enjoy seeing my pastor's smile when she realizes the unexpected response received was in answer to the question as she had phrased it. She is so good-natured. It was obvious that she did not plan to have any comic relief at that point, but she recovered well.

Our pastor is an amazing woman. Even with three children and a husband working second shift and her debilitating illness with hospitalizations, she managed to complete her schooling and is going before the ordination board this week—tomorrow, in fact.

I was not raised in a Christian home originally. In my teenage years, I was a member of my aunt's Baptist church and I well know the arguments against women pastors. Later, my husband and I were led by the Lord to the Church of the Nazarene, which has always ordained women, although all the churches we attended through the years had men pastors, until we changed churches last year. I began changing my mind about men being the only ones called by the Lord to pastor a church when I heard the testaments of a few women pastors, particularly the woman who became pastor of my aunt's church, the one I attended years before. Her story of wrestling with the Lord against becoming a pastor, rather than being a missionary in a foreign land, was most convincing. Who can question such a calling from the Lord?

Esther did not just break tradition, she broke the law! Perhaps a silly law to us now, but certainly one with a serious consequence: penalty of death. Esther was bold, but she first sought the Lord on the matter and asked others to do the same before she did it. Again, I say, when it comes to women being pastors who sought the Lord, fully aware of the prejudice that would be against them, particularly here in the south, who can question such a calling from the Lord?

My Lord, You have been so gracious to our church and our pastor. Please bless her upcoming ordination.

2 comments:

  1. Knowing the predjudice that abounds out there few Godly women would preach unless driven by something other than themselves. If you are being driven by God you can do nought else but submit to His leading.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.