Today’s readings: Isaiah 63:15–64:9; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Mark 11:27–12:12
Among clergy, it is well known that female pastors often struggle with issues of authority. Even in our modern age, many Christians vehemently and vocally oppose the ordination of women. Some mistakenly justify their views by likening sex to sexuality, defending the exclusion of women from ministry for the same reasons we exclude obstinate, sexual sinners. Such overt hostility impairs all women who minister – ordained and lay alike. Even supporters of women in ministry must remain vigilant for the subtle, covert doubts and fears that perpetually erode and undermine the authority of the Church to be the Church.
Jesus reminds us that the authority to minister comes not from our sex, our status as ordained or lay, nor any other label that defines and confines us. The authority to minister comes from God the Father, is entrusted to us by Jesus Christ, and is embodied within us by the Holy Spirit. Our God-given authority is gifted to us in Baptism, and it can break through all barriers of hostility, doubt, and fear – even our own. So let us confidently claim the authority to minister as the priesthood of all believers, and go forth boldly to minister boldly in Jesus’ name.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for entrusting us with the authority to minister in Jesus’ name, and so, dispel our doubts and fears and grant us courage to follow through with the work you have called us to, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Paulette McHugh, Supply Pastor.