A church friend shared with me that she had never heard a mother preach on Mother’s Day. I might share a lot of things about being a parent, but I can’t speak about being a mom.
In 1956, the United Methodist Church finally ordained women to full clergy rights. We decided to fully include women some 1923 years after Jesus expressly told the women gathered at the tomb on that first Easter: “go tell my brothers” (Matthew 28:10) Instead, of listening to Jesus the church clung to the teachings of Paul especially those in First Timothy 2:12. Paul writes in 1 Corinthian’s 11: “ I praise you ..for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you… But I want you to realize that… the head of the woman is man … Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to … if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom.” The church chose cultural customs and traditions over Jesus’ command to Mary and Magdalene. We Methodists started on a more progressive path only to get mired in the culture. Early Methodists utilized women Exhorters as our movement began in the 1740’s. As we moved away from our holiness and class meeting roots we abandoned Jesus’ command to “go and tell my brothers”. The Church has too long neglected the voices of women. The loss of female voices makes us weaker.
Our own Theresa Johnson will preach this Sunday, May 12th, Mother’s Day. Theresa is a lay Speaker, a Certified Candidate, a person of prayer, a godly leader in our church, and a wonderful mother. I hope you will join us on Mother’s Day at 8am, 9am or 11am.