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Its Not About Gender

This morning while checking out Facebook, I caught a video about the church wide convention recently held. In the video, the caption to it said, "celebrating 40 years of the ordination of women" and it showed a really large contingent of clergy processing into a large hall or ballroom. It went on for a while! Of women of all colors, some robed, some not, some with stoles, some not. Some in shorts, some in dresses, some in sandals, some in sensible shoes, some with glasses, some with wheelchairs. And they kept coming. Streaming into the room like the "cloud of witnesses" we talk about. I am female and I was proud of my Lutheran church at that moment. And I thought, wait...what is it that I am so proud about? And the whisper of the answer came, I am so proud because my denomination chooses to honor the call these humans received. Not because they are women necessarily (although I am proud of being a female) but because the church recognizes that humans don't get to decide who is called to be a witness to God. And that call includes all people. Gay and straight, male and female, a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker can be called at any time or in any place to be a witness for Christ. And WE don't get to decide whether they are an "appropriate" spokesperson. God does! It was really inspiring to see so many women come into that room, but it was also an awe-filled moment to realize that all these people heard a call and acted on it. And to be sure, they don't all respond to the call in the same way. In the video I was watching, there was music playing somewhere (but I rarely turn on the audio when I look at this social media, so I couldn't hear the music) and watching the participants come in, was a lesson in diversity as well. Some were clapping their hands, some where smiling and joyfully raised their hands, some were tapping their programs on their thighs in time with the music and some looked solemn and seemed not to even be aware music was playing! Somber and solemn, joyful and exuberant, laughing and smiling; they all processed into the room filling it with the spirit of God. It was awesome! So even though it was procession of women, I really felt that it was a symbol of what God does--calling all to come to the banquet of the "feast of the universe". Let us celebrate the diversity of God's call!

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