Romans 8:22-23 – We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit. (NRSV)
Let me set a scene. A wonderful woman and her family has become part of our worshipping family. She joined us from a tradition that probably does not exalt the place of women in the life of the church and especially in the leadership of the people of God. She is presently exploring the meaning of a very obvious call from God at this moment in her life. So her journey is a joy to me. I seek to direct that journey, well, maybe nudge is a softer, gentler way of expressing what I mean, so I was interested in her response to a recent edition of "Women's Perspectives" from the Presbyterian Church in Canada. She wrote in reflection: "I read Women's Perspectives – about birthing babies and also (birthing) the church. Very interesting and very touchingly done, comparing the two. Memories of my own birthing experiences, wonderful and spiritual experiences for me. Healthy babies, helpless and full of promise. Someone to love, nurture, teach and challenge. I have never considered myself to be a feminist, although I have never doubted a women could be and do whatever she set her mind to. I never had any high or lofty goals. Motherhood was wonderful. I love babies and toddlers and all the stages and phases they went through, sometimes causing upheaval, tension, worry and exasperation… now I must use the nurturing gifts in other ways, in the church. New life, new spirit, new ways of worship, a lot of new ways to do things. All in the name of justice and compassion for human beings all searching for God, as He searches for them. Use me God as you see fit."
Prayer: Make me an instrument of your peace and a sign of your presence. Let your love flow in me, through me, and then enable me to bring healing and nurturing to your people in need. Amen.