Sunday, April 21, 2019

Revisiting Mary Magdalene


I found this insightful article that talked about how women have been misrepresented in Scripture: https://www.thelily.com/claims-of-sexual-immorality-have-been-used-to-diminish-or-discredit-female-religious-figures-for-ages-heres-how-and-why/ It’s a bit of a long read, so if you aren’t up for a long read, here’s the takeaway: we don’t always have accurate context for the lives of women in the Bible. We are sometimes still taught through a patriarchal lens.
Women are central to the Easter story: it was women who were at the cross when Jesus died. It was women who anticipated the resurrection and visited the tomb. It was Mary Magdalene who first saw Christ risen. Author Rachel Held Evans shared powerful ideas about how Jesus needed a woman to come into the world (read more here: https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/god-women-incarnation)
Jesus was born to a woman. God could have had him just appear or be born in egg or something. He was fully human and had the vulnerability of an infant.
As we celebrate the Resurrection, let us remember how central women were in the Gospel. Let us remember that both men and women were made in the image of God and are equally valuable. Let us strive to be a church that honors, ministers to, and is ministered by, women.
Beth Kropf

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

tell your story



          On our first week of Advent, Caz talk about how we are part of this large arc of a story- the story of all of humanity. It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when our daily lives can be mundane and unfulfilling.  Advent is a good time to remember our stories and share them. Find a way to tell your loved ones your stories- the defining moments in your life and in your family’s life. Make a video, write a journal entry, write a post on social media- whatever would be most effective and natural for you.    
          For Ben and I, a large part of our story began when I felt called to move to Austin because of a dream I had. My brother moved to Austin because of a dream he had much later. Our family includes stories of God speaking clearly in large moments and small. I want my daughters to know these stories. My parents met at 19 and a very few months after they started dating, God told my dad that he was supposed to marry my mom. When my dad dismissed the idea, God said “You don’t need to look any further. You have found the woman that will make you happy.” They have been married for 46 years.
        It is easy to doubt God, but when I think of stories like this, it is not possible. I hope we all have stories like this. Our story is part of a larger story of God reaching down to us, humbly entering the word, yearning to be a part of our lives.
Beth Kropf

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Intermittent Lent Update #2



There must be social media in heaven. Imagine what kind of amazing system there must be to tell everyone All The Things. I know there are disadvantages to social media. But heaven will take care of that.
I am still struggling with my pathetic, first-world sacrifice of giving up Facebook.  In some ways it has helped me be more productive, but the Not Sharing Good Things has been tough. I knew when I decided to give up Facebook for Lent that I would have a half marathon during that time. One of the best parts of finishing races is posting the pictures and seeing how many people “like” them.  There was certainly a shortening of my runner’s high without this.
I have been thinking about how lonely Jesus must have felt on Earth. Even His disciples could not be good friends in His darkest hours. He must have felt so disconnected. It is ridiculous to compare me giving up Facebook to this. I still have contact with friends in other ways. But I am glad that this longing has helped me remember Jesus’s suffering. It was not just the cross. It was a lifetime of isolation. Even some of His brothers did not believe He was the Messiah.
Lent is helping me prepare for Easter. I am anxious for our day of celebration. Not just for salvation for us, but to celebrate that Jesus is no longer alone.  He paid such a high price to call us children.
Beth Kropf

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