I’m doing one of my favorite things: looking at scripture texts for a season to come and seeking a theme to draw them into the hearts of those who come to worship.
Our church Sunday School follows the inter-denominational selections of scripture called the lectionary. By encountering the same stories on a given Sunday, we like to encourage families to discuss what they were intrigued by in classes and through worship.
But today? Today these stories burnished by time make me so very tired.
The scripture texts in January and February are some of the foundational stories of our faith. They are the stories of men made heroes by the telling of their exploits.
They are the stories of men.
Women are near invisible. They are seeming bit players in God’s sweeping story. When on the stage of story-telling consciousness, women are often possessions to be managed or acted upon – sometimes with unspeakable violence.
In headlines and in conversation circles this past month the stories of the near-invisible are being told. Stories of abuses of power perpetrated by the predatory privileged are being told. Women and men are speaking of the shame and soul-warp of sexual violence perpetrated upon them. Those who say “Me too. This happened to me, too” are breaking silence.
And you know the two are related. The silencing of women in our core faith stories is no mere oversight. We have lop sided faith story for centuries and we who tend religious institutions have all too often colluded with a culture that has storied abuse of power into assumed life.
Patriarchy kills. It kills futures and it mangles girls and women and all who have the audacity to embody a gender identity that is not binary. Patriarchy harms all who are objectified and it contorts the souls and hearts of men and I don’t want to collude any longer.
Not in my heart, not in my body, not in my soul, not in “my” church.
I choose to mindfully work for a day when the church stories faith in such a way that “Me too” has to do with how it is all are welcome, safe, and celebrated.