Wendy Connelly is first and foremost a wife and mom, a seminary student at Saint Paul School of Theology, and will be teaching “Live and Let Think” this April at Resurrection Downtown. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: You can listen to this GPS Insights post read by the author here.
I love the prologue of Matthew for its rag-tag group of misfit women. These are, among the royal Davidic lineage, quite the opposite of the Founding Fathers (the Abrahams, Isaacs and Jacobs) and regal kings (David, Solomon, Hezekiah). These women, in this strange juxtaposition of the extremes of power, embody the unlikely, the disenfranchised, the helter-skelter kingdom of God.
They remind me of the words Steve Jobs made famous:
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward.
You can’t ignore these women; they’re woven into the very bloodline of Christ. And yet even today, these archetypes – the Tamars, Rahabs, Bathshebas and Ruths – are oppressed by systems of injustice. The cry of Tamar still echoes loud. But Matthew’s gospel is riven with hope: every injustice against the least resounds in the ears of God.
I had a chance last week to sit down for several hours with my friend, Darryl Burton, to talk about his life, the 24 years he spent in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and the place of justice in the life of the church. Here’s what he had to say:
Wendy: What is justice?
Darryl: Justice is correcting things that are wrong and making it right. Bringing forth light and speaking truth to power. You know, that’s what justice is. And I think, you know, as a Christian and as a believer and as a pastor… we fight for the underdog, or for the little person or the person who’s being abused or being forced to deal with unjust situations. And so, justice is making things right.
In the infancy narrative, Matthew is making a plea to his audience, the church. Remember these women. If you’re in a place of position and power, then by God, use it for the sake of the displaced and powerless. And if today you feel like the underdog, the misfit, the round peg in a square hole, take heart – there’s a cloud of witnesses standing in your corner.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.