Daily Devotional – Monday, June 21, 2021
“Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” Then they became insistent. ‘But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!’” (Luke 23:4-5, NLT)
I have been reminded once more just how unteachable we can be—so entrenched in what we think we know, that we simply discard ‘new information.’ It is good to be unwavering in our loyalty to God, but refusing to hear a new perspective may in fact leave us holding onto an understanding of God’s Word that is only partial or is even false. Isn’t that the attitude that caused the Pharisees and teachers of the Law to deny the truth, even while it was being spoken through the mouth of God in human form? They didn’t like what Jesus had to say because it did not agree with their interpretations. They accused Jesus of causing riots by his teaching, but it was a false accusation. It was not Jesus’ teaching that was at fault, but rather the religious teachers’ refusal to admit they were wrong. Yes, it caused upset, but needlessly. If they had been teachable, and truly seeking to know the heart of God, not simply wanting to shore up support for their own belief system, these same religious leaders would have been willing to at least listen to God’s Word explained from a different perspective.
As a woman minister, I have seen this very same behaviour on far too many occasions. I am convinced that for many years, the Church has allowed an impartial and sometimes false understanding of what God teaches us in His Word to sideline half of God’s workforce from fully participating in His Kingdom work. How? By keeping women ‘in their place.’ Like many Christians during the past number of decades, I grew up being taught that I could not be a pastor; if I got married, I would necessarily hand over all decision-making to my husband; I would be required to submit myself to the role of ‘helper’ aka ‘assistant.’ Imagine my surprise when I began to sense God’s call on my life to work in a church, to teach both men and women and to become a licensed minister…and now recently, ordained. God hadn’t just given me leadership abilities, a pastoral heart, the ability to teach and a keen desire for justice, just to play a supportive role for my husband or to limit my work to children and women.
But some will not hear it. When I tell them that I know God has called me to be the pastor of a church, they will respond that I heard wrong. When I tell them that my husband and I enjoy a relationship of oneness, equal in every respect under Christ, who is our Head, they will tell me I am not fulfilling God’s mandate on my life as a woman. When I demonstrate from Scripture why my understanding of these things has been changed—going back to the original languages and culture that the Bible was written in—they will tell me that I am misusing Scripture and I have been negatively impacted by the culture of our day.
Over this week, my devotionals will continue to focus specifically on this topic, from the perspective of the Creation, our redemption and Christ’s call. If you are one who has been raised with an opposing ideology, then I would encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to give you ears to hear from Him. No one, no matter what you understand the Bible to say on any topic, is ever wise to plug their ears. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law did—and smugly watched the Son of God die on a cross. Let’s not be the kind of religious people who insist we understand all there is to know about God and His Word, shutting off the possibility of hearing anything new from the Holy Spirit. Never waiver in your loyalty to God, but be ready to question your finite understanding.
#collingwoodchurch #hopechapel #devotional #Luke23 #womeninministry #womensplace
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!