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Boaz Johnson
So, what does the Bible have to say in response to the issues raised by the #MeToo movement? It seems to me that the central response to this question is the name of Jesus the Messiah’s mother—Mary. The name Mary means “one who has endured much pain and suffering.” It was a common name given to girls in the first century, especially in villages like Nazareth.     Read more
Favored is she who relies on God.  She trusts without full understanding.  She expects His will to triumph.  Confident is she who knows the Lord. Read more
Photo of Sarah Hardman
The story of Jesus’ birth might be the most misquoted and misunderstood story in the gospels. Luke’s gospel account of both the annunciation and the nativity are strikingly unique, because not only does Luke meticulously detail the events but he also puts a woman, Mary, in the spotlight of the narrative—something that no other gospel writer does Read more
Eliza Stiles
To talk about a woman in the church is to deal with the reality of her body, as if her body—her physical being—is some issue with which she must deal. For Mary, this looks like telling the story of Jesus’ birth as if Mary’s body played little to no role in the coming of Christ. One minute Mary didn’t have Jesus, and the next she did. Read more
Photo of Karley Hatter
Disruptions are inevitable in this life. We face circumstances and events in our day-to-day lives that feel like giant mountains, road blocks, and dead ends. Bad things happen to us, our families, and the people we love. Maybe it is a disappointing diagnosis, a rejection, or the end of a job. When bad things happen, we often feel like we have no agency or choice about the matter. Read more
Photo of Joyce del Rosario
God called Mary to something much greater than her social location. I find it comforting to note that she was called “highly favored” before she said yes to God. It wasn’t her obedience that made her highly favored. Her significance was in her insignificance. Because of who she was and where she was from, she was chosen to bear God’s son. Read more
Image of Katie McEachern
One Sunday, about a year ago, I was visiting a new church. It was December, and the pastor was preaching about Mary. I was surprised by how well he positioned Mary as an equal to the congregation—neither meek nor superhuman. He presented Mary to us as if she was someone whose experience was worth trying to empathize with, whether we were male or female. Read more
In churches where men are welcomed as priests and leaders simply because they share the male body of Jesus and the twelve male disciples, we too easily assume that women’s bodies represent, by contrast, an inferiority. Because of this, girls and women have for centuries been regarded as inferiors to boys and men and denied leadership in the church, home, and world. Read more
Photo of Keren Dibbens-Wyatt
We have put you on a pedestal, scattered petals at your marble feet. Entombed now in stone, once their warm flesh danced in Cana . . . Read more
Fully Alive ultimately falls victim to exactly what it professes to avoid in its subtitle. It claims to move beyond stereotypes, but not only enforces them but also sets them against a pseudo-biblical backdrop which turns one particular, culturally-bound view of gender into a universalized application for all people everywhere. Read more