- Yesterday’s gospel the Samaritan woman (John 4:5 – 42) tells of the remarkable story of her encounter with Christ. Unless one is versed in Jewish history one cannot understand how scandalised the male disciples would have been when they saw their teacher talking to a foreign woman and a Samaritan at that. It is harder to say what would have shocked them more: discussing theological matters with a woman or the fact that the woman was a Samaritan.
- Christ did not share the prejudices of his disciples nor did he denegrate woman because of their gender, lifestyle or religion. Christ valued women as human beings created in God’s image and hence he valued them as having equality with men and did not force upon them stereotypical roles as the rest of society did. Certainly they were a significant part of his ministry
- But the fact that women are equal did not mean then nor does it mean now that women are identical to men. In Paul’s letter the Galatians Paul says this: there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Jesus Christ. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise (3:26 – 29)
- Paul puts forth the proposition that women are ” the same: but different “quite colourfully in Corinthians 1. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all are members of the body so it is with Christ… For a body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “because I’m not an eye, I do not belong to the body that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?”
- In the body of Christ, the church, there are a variety of roles to be played. Some of them by men and some of them by women. Women supported the ministry of Christ. Women were quietly present at the crucifixion and Christ revealed himself to women first after the resurrection. We venerate a woman, the mother of God, who has a respected and unique place in the affections of our Lord. Women, contributed greatly to sustaining the early church. Indeed it can be said that their role is: “same – but different” to that of men.
Around our church
- On Tuesday, my live radio broadcast will be focused upon the man born blind (next Sundays gospel reading). The radio program is on six EBA FM (95.3 FM) from 5 PM to 6 PM. Also from 6:45 PM at the church the adult Bible class continues.
- On Thursday the women of the Greek community are holding the biggest morning tea. See flyer for details.
- On Saturday English liturgy from 9 AM to 10:15 AM.
- On Sunday, we will be having locoumades for sale.
- Do not forget that on 16 June (Pentecost) will be holding our sweet stall. All are invited to assist in the preparation of items for sale.
- Mark this down in your diaries: Sunday, 30 June 2019 St Nektarios luncheon: venue – Hellenic Macedonian centre Wordsworth Avenue Dianella; price – adults $30, children (between five and 16 years old) $10, children under five no charge.
Thought of the week
Life is a work in progress. Your character learns little from success but a few failures, especially early in life are salutary and character building. Mistakes will happen. Whether we grow as a result or withdraw within marks the true test of our character.
Till next time.
Father John Athanasiou 0411 061 554