The Women in Ministry Series: Eat, Drink, and Be Mary

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Kimberly Majeski wears many ministry hats (or head coverings if your prefer) as a radio personality, conference speaker, women’s retreat leader, Bible teacher, and pastor. You can now add to that list: guest blogger.

Maybe it is because I’ve been off carbs for six weeks or maybe it’s because I need to purge my sin sick soul, but the bread and wine of Holy Communion are especially sweet today. I take in the broken loaf and my starch starved self is satiated and the wine washes down the heavenly morsels smoothly.

The truth is, I am empty.

The weather has turned cold and the trees now stand bare, undressed by the early winter winds. Today there are student papers to grade, research projects to complete, presentations to polish, deadlines to meet, and dishes in the sink.

For some of us in ministry, somewhere between holy calling and taking out the trash, in between the thin places and the board meetings, we realize the work is hard, the hours are long and the thanks can be, well, sparse at best; it can be arduous work for our tender hearts and frail egos. It can be a trap for those of us given to the chains of achieving, producing, accomplishing, attempting to earn favor. Before the madness creeps in, today I stop to remember an image burned into my heart from a trip to Jerusalem earlier this year.

We were tired. It was the last day of our journey, and we decided to visit Dormition Abbey, the Church of the Assumption of Mary. Though it was cold outside, the church was grand and warm. The domed ceilings covered with golden tiles and her image there smiling with her baby son. The amber light of candles flooded the room and bounced from the gold dome to the limestone floor in a rhythmic dance; the twinkling lights on the tree invited us, “Come in.”

Beyond the sanctuary there was a café, of course there was, this was Our Lady’s place—not a cold stone cathedral but a friendly, cozy space for sharing coffee and croissants and the beauty of the day. We unloaded our weary selves for a moment and enjoyed the sunshine goodness of the winter punch and it struck me, the wonder, the power of the welcoming place.

For all the centuries of debate over Jesus and Women, the rightful place of the—what some dare to call—weaker sex, for all the proof texting and poor Greek of sermons built on feminine submission, in the end…He chose to be made known through her and she welcomed Him well.

I am a daughter of His church and the feminist revolution; raised by a single mother and saint who worked three jobs and made sure we had Jesus and Jordache. She taught my sister and me the stories of the Bible that made known this One who loves and welcomes all, but, sometimes I forget, He welcomes even me. How easily I forget the ways I have known Him.

I have known Him in the arms of women wrapped ‘round one another after the husband and provider of the home is long gone. I have known Him in the prayers of the healers bent over the sick and broken in the late hours of the midnight long after the men have departed under pain too great to bear.

I have known Him in the grocery store as we shop for the ingredients to make a casserole of butter and chicken and love. I have known Him in the gracious hospitality of women just as He first chose to make Himself known to us.

I am a woman fully captivated by the revelation of Jesus in the Word and in the world, mesmerized and happily confounded by the way He chose to come to us. I have spent my life studying the Scriptures and I have a lifetime more to learn but I am caught by the truth that the first to receive and share the Savior was a woman, young and tender who by human logic should have chosen otherwise.

Before the whirlwind of the season takes hold, before I am laid low by all of my own striving to be more, I pause to recognize the miracle of Mary’s discipleship; the simple, profound wonder of her “Yes.” I consider the power of her surrender, and the hope of Christ, the One who saw fit to come to us—to women– broken and imperfect as we are and allow Himself to be made known through us, I eat, I drink and I am filled.

About Today’s Guest Blogger

Kimberly-Majeski-5x7 (2)Kimberly Majeski is a scholar, preacher and author who challenges her audiences to find the life-transforming connection between their personal story and the inspiring, ancient story of the Scriptures. As a radio personality, conference speaker, women’s retreat leader, Bible teacher, and pastor, Kimberly captivates audiences with her ability to exposit Biblical truths through storytelling that is engaging, transparent and uplifting. Kimberly and her husband Kevin reside in Anderson, Indiana where she serves as professor of Biblical Studies at Anderson University.

About the Women in Ministry Series

The Women in Ministry Series is a collection of guest posts that aims to:

  • Provide an alternative to the women in ministry debates by telling the stories of women in ministry.
  • Encourage women to explore their God-given callings.

You can stay updated on the latest post each week by signing up for the weekly e-mail list. (You also get a free E-book!)

Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome to leave a comment. However, this series takes for granted that women are called by God into every facet of ministry. This is not the place to debate that point and such comments will be removed. Women have been told “no” in far too many places. This is one place that is committed to saying “yes.” For more about the comment policy or submitting your own story, read here.

Next Week’s Blogger: Carolyn Custis James

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11 thoughts on “The Women in Ministry Series: Eat, Drink, and Be Mary

  1. Amy S.

    What a beautiful post! The funny thing is that I’ve marveled over Jesus appearing first to Mary Mag after His resurrection, but completely missed how Mary was the first woman to whom He appeared through her pregnancy and birth. Thank you for this insightful post!

    1. Kimberly

      Thanks so much Amy!I know, I am captivated by Mary of Migdol too. So much to glean from the life of Jesus regarding women. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Peggy

    Love hearing from another Church of God pastor … And may there be a return to more women in CoG pulpits!

    Been pondering reading Scot McKnight’s “The Real Mary” again before Advent begins. This post provides the perfect context.

    Be blessed….

    1. Kimberly

      Pastor Peggy,
      Yay!! So glad to know you!! Where do you serve? Yes. Mary is such a model for us, for any of us committed to the life of discipleship. I am always sorry she is forgotten in this conversation. Hope pondering her life brings you peace and hope this season and draws you closer to her son.

  3. Liz Myrick

    “I have known Him in the arms of women wrapped ‘round one another after the husband and provider of the home is long gone. I have known Him in the prayers of the healers bent over the sick and broken in the late hours of the midnight long after the men have departed under pain too great to bear.”

    I love this picture of women ministering bravely, lovingly, tirelessly. Lovely, honest, and moving piece. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. Kimberly

      Thanks so much Liz!

      As a woman, daughter of a woman, friend of women, this is where I have known Christ. These are powerful images I am honored to celebrate.

  4. Harriet Congdon

    This is so beautiful, Kimberly. I was captured by Mary long ago when I was a young mother. I fantasized about what it would be like to be a mom to a perfect son (soooo not my reality with three rambunctious sons). Then I studied the snapshots of Mary throughout the gospels and discovered a very human mother with her own journey from mother-of-the-Son-of-God to disciple-of-the-Son-of-God. Thank you for reminding me of her continued presence through the women in my life. Too bad the evangelical church doesn’t give her much attention.

  5. Kimberly

    Harriet,

    So true. I think many Protestants miss the power of Mary’s story and the insight she offers us into the humanity of Jesus. She points us to him; she helps us understand divine love in human terms. Time to reclaim her!!

  6. Herm

    Pastor Kimberly,

    You are truly a saint with the Holy Spirit sharing with us through your heart and mind. As I read your bio you are a dish washer, scholar, author, radio personality, conference speaker, women’s retreat leader, Bible teacher (university professor), wife, and (last but not least) a pastor. Oh yes, you are, also worth appreciation, a confessed daughter of His church and the feminist revolution. You can today find yourself empty?

    I can’t begin to believe I have anything worthy of nurture and sustenance to offer one as accomplished as you. I am so thankful that you ate, drank and were filled before you left this your offering to us.

    Luke researched carefully before he wrote to Theophilus highlighting right at the beginning significant women by the name of Elizabeth, Mary, Anna. Toward the end he highlighted significant women recognized as Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and others that were with them. I note this because there were movements then who tried, and there are movements now trying, to keep those women in the shadows to be forever cast in submissive roles, when they clearly were not.

    How many other saints (from all genders, sexes, religions, nations and races) do we (yes, even you and I) debate as of less value because we want to perceive them to be weaker than ourselves; not much unlike the sermons built on feminine submission that you spoke of?

    We see so many of us, inside and outside the church, touting achievements as proof of greater worthiness and authority. We are so hungry to establish where our neighbors, siblings and God grade us on the “bell curve of greatest importance” to man and God that we ignore into the submission those we perceive least among us. Jesus, the Son of man and God, was forced into submission, by the highest and most powerful authorities of His time, to die on the cross of shame for and by our sin. Why not, who would miss someone most obviously of such lowly human stature and insignificant value relative to my own? Talk about being empty with little chance of eating His body, drinking His blood and being filled by the Holy Spirit … but then, again, Saul was filled to be Paul???

    Luke 9:48
    48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all– he is the greatest.”
    (NIV)

    Luke 18:17
    17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
    (NIV)

    Luke 10:26-28
    26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
    27 He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
    28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
    (NIV)

    amen

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