Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Women's work?

Yesterday Kimberly sent me this wonderful photo as a possible image of women's ministry. And yesterday I read this:
"The risen Christ gave Mary Magdalene a commission. 'Go' is her mission, and 'tell my brethren' is her commission. A commission, to publish the first news of his rising, and as it falls out, of his ascending too.
The Fathers say that by this word she was by Christ made an apostle, nay 'an apostle to the apostles themselves.' An apostle, for what lacks she? Sent first, immediately from Christ himself; and what is an apostle but so? Secondly, sent to declare and make known. And last, what was she to make known? Christ's rising and ascending. And what are they but 'the gospel', yea the very gospel of the gospel?
The first gospel of all is the gospel of this day, and the gospel of this day is this Mary Magdalene's gospel, the prime gospel of all, before any of the other four. That Christ is risen and upon his ascending, and she the first that ever brought these glad tidings. At her hands the apostles themselves received it first, and from them we all.
So was it ... that Christ finding her where he should have found (the other apostles) and did not, (is fain) to send by the hand of her that he first found at the sepulchre's side, and to make himself a new apostle. And send her to them, ... to catechise them in two articles of the Christian Faith, the resurrection and the ascension of Christ. To Mary Magdalene, they and we both owe them, the first notice of them."
And which contemporary feminist (with, admittedly, a penchant for quaint archaisms of language) wrote this? Sorry, men. It comes from a sermon of Lancelot Andrewes, preached before King James I at Whitehall on Easter Day 1622.

So ... what took you so long?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:43 PM

    I love this. Mary has for so long gotten the bad rap but she is one of my favorites.