Thursday, March 8, 2018

International Women's Day

March is the month designated to celebrate women's history; March 8 is International Women's Day.  We might ask ourselves why we still need to set time apart to pay attention to women.  Haven't we enacted laws so that women are equal and now we can just go on with our lives?

Sadly, no, that is not the case.  If we look at basic statistics, like how much women earn compared to men in the very same jobs, we see that the U.S. has still not achieved equality.  Although the Lutheran church has been ordaining women since the 70's, although we have a female bishop in the top position, our local churches are still likely to be led by white men.  If we look at violent crime rates, we discover that most violent crime rates have fallen--except for rape.  If we look at representation in local, state, and federal levels, we see that members of government are still mostly white and male.

And that's in a first world country.  The picture for women in developing nations is bleak.

Most of us understand why a world where more women have access to equal resources would be a better world for all of us.  Many of us have spent years and decades working to make that world a reality.  Some of us are lucky enough to have a church that supports the vision of equality that God offers to us as what the Kingdom of God looks like.

Not everyone has that experience.  And sadly, many people have experienced discrimination against women coming at them through their churches.  That damage may have happened years ago, in churches that no longer resemble the ones we have now--but the damage is done, for those people.

We know that the world can change very quickly, and God calls us to be part of the movement to change the world in ways that are better for all--and particularly for the vulnerable and powerless.  We have made great progress on that front.  But there is still more to do.

So, today, let us get started.  And let us pray for all who are with us on the journey:

Creator God, today we pause to celebrate women and to envision a world that is better for women.  Give us the courage to act on our visions.  Help us to remember those who do not enjoy equal rights and protections, and give us the wisdom to know what to do.

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