Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 22, 2006
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
"So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great
joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus
met them and said, 'Greetings!' And they came to
him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.
Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid; go and
tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will
Have you ever been afraid and joyful at the same
time? As these women rushed to tell the disciples,
guess who met them? Jesus himself! Can you imagine
what the women were feeling? As Jesus greeted them,
they came and fell on their knees, holding his feet
while worshipping him. Jesus blessed them and said,
"Do not be afraid." They were both fearful and
joyful. Who would not be after seeing someone
raised from the dead?
Women were the first to see the risen Christ. Now
they were to go and tell the male disciples to meet
with Jesus in Galilee. They were entrusted with the
first commands uttered by the risen Christ. Jesus
was using women as apostolic messengers. Jesus was
breaking traditional patterns of male spiritual
Even today, certain Christian churches do not allow
women to preach, publicly read scripture aloud during
the church service, or serve communion. Some leaders
insist women cannot teach little boys older than the
age of six. Women are to be seen but not heard in
some traditions, sometimes even in those that say
In my own childhood, it never crossed my mind that
women could be pastors, preachers, seminary
professors, and spiritual directors. My role
models taught that women's work was limited to
the church nursery and kitchen, and they were
always given permission to dust and clean the
Imagine my astonishment while in an evangelical
seminary, I received a call to ministry. One day,
when in deep prayer, I offered myself to God in any
capacity, to any country, for any people. While
praying, the telephone rang and it was a Navy
chaplain recruiter. He was looking for ordained
clergywomen. Would I be interested? Yes, but I
felt both fearful and joyful.
In my joy, I could hardly wait to meet with my
pastor and share this amazing answer to prayer!
My beloved church actually disowned me when I
eagerly shared this wonderful moment. My male
pastor said, "Yes, you are called. But you must
leave. You see, God doesn't call our women to
this kind of work. You have to go to another
denomination. You cannot stay with us." What
would his response have been if I had been male?
Thus began several years of spiritual turmoil
while searching for a church home that would
allow me to follow God's gracious calling.
Through it all, I learned God is big. God is
bigger than the fallible people in the church.
I found there are Christian denominations that
ordain women and place them in positions of
leadership. There are Christian denominations
that have fought against slavery and for human
rights. There are even Christian denominations
that offer affirmation, blessing, marriage rites,
and ordination for gay and lesbian people.
My ministry has changed throughout the years, but
God has not. Jesus Christ remains the same
yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The risen Christ
uses people among all walks of life in extraordinary
ways. Who am I to limit God's calling in another
God, bless us with joyous worship as we contemplate
the risen Christ in our lives. Thank you for
calling us by name. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line
using your credit card! http://www.ChiRhoPress.com
"Living as the Beloved" is available for $20.95 each,
plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are
$15.75 each, plus shipping and handing. You can find
this book on our Web site at
Subscribe to the Chi Rho Connection, our free twice
monthly electronic newsletter, and this Chi Rho
Reflection, our weekly meditation, by sending blank
e-mail to mailto:ChiRhoPressfirstname.lastname@example.org
To unsubscribe, mailto:ChiRhoPressemail@example.com