Ordinary People, Extraordinary Women

April 20, 2017

On Easter Sunday, Galilee concluded our worship series “Creed: What We Believe Matters” with a lesson on the central truth of our faith, the redeeming message of the resurrection. Now, as we enter a new season (and celebrate the spring that comes into all our lives through the sacrifice of Christ), we’re going to pivot to examine what it means to live out our creed. This we’ll do by exploring the lives of ordinary women in the Bible who God chose to uplift and inspire.

Why women?

“The Bible is an ancient book, but it’s also a book that is far ahead of its time,” explains Galilee’s Senior Pastor, Jason Duley. “It was written down by people in a patriarchal society and the stories it tells are stories of that society. Yet counter to that culture, there’s a persistent thread woven through the Bible and it is the story of how God changes the world through ordinary women.”

Pastor Jason reads that behind every successful man, there’s an extraordinary woman. (Galilee’s Business Manager, Kathy Butler, is seen behind him).

“We can think rather arrogantly about our time and say, “Feminism and equality of the sexes, we invented that.” But in truth, God was telling us about the value and equality of women long before any men had the ears to hear it. In the texts of our worship series, “Extraordinary Women of the Bible,” there is an equality that is not from 20th or 21st century politics. It’s from the Gospel.”

“Several times in the long history of faith, ordinary women became the hinge on which world transformation turned.”

“Think of Hannah or Ruth. Think of Rebekah or the Woman at the Well. Most importantly, think about the Mary’s. Mary, the close disciple of Jesus Christ. Also Mary, the mother of our savior. In cultures where men were kings, priests, and heads of households, God chose ordinary women for the most extraordinary purposes.”

“I’m proud to be part of a faith that carries on this godly view of women, judging not the exterior make-up of a person, but valuing what is inside.”

“The United Methodist denomination first ordained women as pastors in the 1950s. Our Virginia bishop is a woman. Here at Galilee, we’ve had a much-loved female associate pastor. Plenty of our council and committee leaders are women. Look at our volunteers: we would not accomplish a tenth of what we accomplish as a church without the minds, muscles, and ministry of our volunteer women and girls. I’m so proud that our ministry intern, Geitra Mickelson, is a strong and faithful woman. Galilee is doing its part to train up the next generation of women leaders.”

“As we progress through our worship series, you are going to hear the voices of women. That’s true in the Bible passages read; it’s also true in who preaches. Geitra will kick the series off this Sunday with the story of Mary, mother of Jesus. Later, our District Superintendent, Cathy Abbott, will preach on Ruth.”

“You’re in for a treat with this series. The ordinary lives that were touched by God in the examples of Ruth, Hannah, Rebekah, and others continue to inspire faith even today.”

“Extraordinary Women of the Bible” is a six week worship series happening this spring:

  • April 23 – Mary, Mother of Jesus: Courage
    (Focus Scripture: Luke 1:26-38)
  • April 30 – Ruth: Loyalty and Love
    (Focus Scripture: Ruth 1:16-17)
  • May 7 – Hannah: Surrendering, Waiting
    (Focus Scripture: 1 Sam. 1:9-20)
  • May 14 – Rebekah: Irrespective of Imperfections
    (Focus Scripture: Gen 24:15-20)
  • May 21 – Mary Magdalene
    (Focus Scripture: John 20:18)
  • May 28 – The Woman at the Well
    (Focus Scripture: John 4:25-29)

Suggested companion books to our series, Extraordinary Women of the Bible, includes the Twelve Women of the Bible series and Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur.