First day of New Testament II. I was a little sad this morning because my first semester professor is on Sabbatical- love Dr. Sze-Kar Wan, but Dr. Abraham Smith is great too. Plus, I have a ton of friends in this class this semester. Yay! I really enjoy everyone at school so much. Makes me so happy. My first class with Trent Juarez! 🙌
Before I came to class I saw a tweet from a Christian leader who prayed with the Pope and leaders from two other faiths-praying for peace, and he believes our prayers will knot us together. What was notable about the picture – NO WOMEN. This really matters.
A lady responded saying that she hopes God responds that they need to hire women. He responded with his regret that women were underrepresented – all three faiths brought 5 people and 1 woman in each group. (If that is even true, women were not in the picture-so I guess they didn’t get to pray?) He admits it is lamentable, but women are not in the higher echelons of leadership in each faith unfortunately. He hopes that will change. She responded to him that it is because it is a boys club.
I was really glad she responded boldly to him, because worldwide there is a humanitarian crisis against women. Listen to the rhetoric towards women in our political conversation-and how we pay very little attention to the women in the Bible and their experience.
Why did I include that in my NT post? Because we talked about Paul today. Talk about someone who has influenced Christianity profoundly – and we can’t agree on who he exactly is because what is written in Scripture is not consistent about him.
Our professor is offering a fun paper to write that will be super awesome to write, but I cannot get that earlier tweet out of my head. Dr. Smith is also offering an exegesis paper if we decide to do that instead, and women is one of the hot topic passages. I think I might have to write an exegetical paper – even though they make me crazy. Whoever the real Paul is- his legacy hasn’t been good for women. But my friend Aaron Reindel told me on All Saints Day that Paul would have liked me. We would fight, but we are both contending for the faith. I think Paul told Aaron this so I will be generous in class. 😆I also told my professor, and he said this is rich. I love my new professor already! He is really fun.
Somehow we need our faith to move forward and use women fully. We are not help-mates in the sense that we are men’s little helpers. Ezer (Hebrew word for helper)- is also a term used for saying God is my helper. We don’t treat God the way we do women when we say God is my help. Something to think about.
I look forward to another fun and robust semester- sharing what I learn. I am happy to converse too. This helps me grow and think. I want this to transform us and help us take scripture more seriously, and also question why we do things the way we do. Does it give life to everyone? Is it good news for everyone?
This is not a Women take over the Men speech. That gets so OLD! I work with a lot of men, and none of them would say I am trying to get them over. Right, men in my life? Tell them I am not taking you over. 🤣
Also, I went to see my OT professor, Dr. Jack Levison (also fellow church member) with my friend, Cheryl. We had a great time catching up just for fun. Cheryl went to Israel and I loved hearing about her experience. I talked about sharing with the incoming students at Perkins this past week and how healing it was for me. It felt like a redeeming moment from what had hurt so much.
Jack was surprised by the connection I was making to my past experience. When I explained it he suggested I get the book “The Body Keeps the Score”. It talks about the impact trauma has on our bodies. It remembers what happens to us. Then I read two quotes on Twitter right after we had this conversation.
Your body will carry stress that your mind can’t even name. Jackie Hill Perry
The “Binding up of the broken-hearted” involves the healing of emotional wounding that affects not only the relationship between the heart and the mind, but broken-heartedness also has a profound impact on the body as well. “Heal me O Lord and I will be healed. (Jeremiah 7:14). – Mark Chironna
As I take all of this in, it rings true. And I think this is what healing might have actually looked like. Seminary is healing me, in addition to church. Scripture reached me in my time of need and did the work it is supposed to do.