Feminist Easter Vigil

Easter didn’t go so well for me last year, I read “Where is my hope now that my heroes are gone?” blog post and remembered I had intended to write a feminist Easter service this year… well, I didn’t. Not yet. Maybe later tonight when I can’t sleep or tomorrow when I don’t know what to do with myself because we have already binge watched Tiger King. But I need to do something for me tonight, to remember the women who were important to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. So, tonight, I’m going to read the Easter Vigil texts, but not the RCL ones in the link, I’m going to read the ones from “Remembering the Women”.

The point of the Easter Vigil, in my opinion is to remember God’s work throughout history that point to the incarnation of Christ, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a service in some Christian traditions that people are baptized and/or become members of the church. The only Easter Vigil I’ve ever been to was at a Catholic Church my uncle was joining. It was a long but beautiful service and we had cake for him afterwords.

Below is not my own words, but the words from “Remembering the Women” and links to the scriptures.

Male and Female, Created in God’s Image: Of all creatures, only humankind is made in the image of God. Together women and men mirror the divine image. Genesis 1:26-2:3

Song of Hannah: Hannah pours out her heart in joyful song. Canticle of 1 Samuel 2:1-5

Hagar and Ishmael are Driven Out Into the Dessert: Sarah exercises her authority, though her actions are cruel. Hagar looks after her son with God’s help; later, she exercises her authority by finding a wife for him. Genesis 21:8-21

Song of Hannah (2): Canticle of 1 Samuel 2:6-10

God’s promise to Sarah: The Roman lectionary tells the story of the binding of Isaac and of God’s promise. In this passage God blesses Sarah and says that God’s promise will come through her. Genesis 17:15-22

God as a Sheltering Mother: Psalm 91:1-2,3-4,14-16

The Hebrew Midwives, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Moses’ Mother: Pharaoh seeks to destroy the Hebrews by having their newborn sons murdered, but the midwives foil his cruel plan. Moses’ sister and mother help Pharaoh’s daughter reclaim him from the Nile. Exodus 1:8-2:10

Song of Deborah: This passage speaks of Deborah, a prophet in Israel. Judges 5:3-4,7-9

Wisdom Brings Her People Out of Egypt: The Exodus from Egypt is attributed to the action of Holy Wisdom; it was she who brought about the deliverance of people of Israel and led them through the desert. Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21; 11:1-5

God as Sheltering Mother: Psalm 17: 1-2, 6-7, 8-10

The Prophet Miriam: For Micah, the leadership of Miriam and her brothers at the time of the Exodus is evidence of God’s love and saving acts. Micah 6:1-8

Song of Miriam: The first reading of the lectionaries proclaims that daughters shall prophesy. This passage tells of Miriam, a prophet in Israel. Exodus 15:19-21

Five Sisters Confront Moses: The sisters confront Moses and the other leaders to challenge the established pattern of inheritance that excluded women. God takes their side. Numbers 27:1-11

Song of Deborah (2): Judges 5:10-12

Israel, God’s Spouse: God is creator and redeemer, and is also Israel’s faithful, steadfast spouse. The covenant of peace will not be removed. Isaiah 54:5-14

God as Sheltering Mother: Psalm 61:2-3, 4-5, 9

Does a Mother Forget Her Child? God’s love for Israel is that of a nursing mother: Isaiah 49:13-16a

God as Sheltering Mother: Psalm 57:1-2,8-9,10-12

The Prophet Huldah: This story tells of Huldah, prophet in Israel. She authenticates the newly rediscovered book of the Law and the community believes. 2 Kings 22:14-20

The Song of Judith (1): Judith sings a song of triumph, for God has foiled the enemy through her hand. Judith 15:14-16:5

Susanna: Falsely Accused and Vindicated: Two lustful and wicked judges try to trap Susanna, a righteous woman who trusts in God and cries out to defend herself. Although she is first unjustly convicted, her innocence is later proven and her trust in God confirmed. Justice triumphs, due to Susanna’s faith and Daniel’s integrity. Daniel 13:1-64

Song of Judith (2) Judith 16:5-16:15

The One Who Knows All Things Knows Her: Holy Wisdom–a feminine figure in the Bible–here is identified with strength, understanding, riches, and the word of God. Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4

God as Mother Who Washes Her Children: Psalm 51:3-4,8-9,12-13,16-17

No Longer Male or Female: Is this a vision of the time of salvation, or of the garden of Eden, when the man and the woman were equal? Equality of women and men in Christ is yet to be realized. Galatians 3:26-28

Jesus Appears to the Women: The lectionaries tell of Jesus appearing to his disciples as they hid in the upper room. This passage tells of the risen Christ appearing to two of the women disciples in the garden. They are the first to worship him, and Jesus commissions them to carry the good news to the men. Matthew 28:1-10

Sewing room/Office

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