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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Lila Hangartner of Finland, Minnesota makes us laugh but also hopefully makes us think with the following: "Do you know what would have happened if it had been three wise women instead of three wise men who visited Baby Jesus? They would have asked directions, got there on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought practical gifts." Well, it wasn't three wise women who visited Baby Jesus soon after His birth. But an interesting passage of Scripture in Mark 15:40-41 reminds us that women were there the day the Lord of Life died on a cross. That passage says, "There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem." John 19:25 informs us that "there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother." From the day Jesus was born till the day He died till this very day multitudes of women have not only looked on from afar but also actively joined in serving Jesus.
Thank God for women in the church! While the debate goes on about "what women can do in the church," my 32 years as a Christian have convinced me faithful sisters in Christ don't need more to do at home or in the church! When the church assembles for worship, faithful sisters in Christ want to "learn in silence with all submission" and they don't want to "teach or to have authority over a man" (1 Timothy 2:11-15). But nothing in this passage nor any other in the New Testament prevents women from having plenty to do in the church. Several years ago a man told me he stopped attending the church of Christ "because you don't let the women do anything in church," admitting he meant we would not permit them to serve as preachers, elders, lead singing or prayers in worship, etc. I told him most sisters in the church would resent his suggestion they weren't "doing anything" to serve God simply because they weren't preaching, etc. The truth is and always has been that wherever the church gathers for work or worship, women are. always there often the first to arrive and the last to leave! Mark 15:40-41 reveals women were the last to leave Jesus at the cross. Mark 15:47 records women were there when Jesus was buried. Mark 16:1ff reveals women were the first ones to the empty tomb Sunday morning. Mark 16:9 reveals that it was to a woman Jesus first appeared after His resurrection. Mark 16:10 records a woman was first to announce that Jesus was alive. "There were also women" near the cross. Thank God there still are.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ