International Women's Day

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Did you know that Monday, March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD)? This day is set aside each year to celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. While there is little recognition of this day in the USA, there are celebrations around the world ranging from political rallies to conferences to parades to craft markets. Some years the search engine Google even changes its logo to one with the IWD logo.

The recognition began at the turn of the 20th century when the industrialized world saw a growth in population and more women in the work force. IWD was established as a way to recognize the contribution and struggles of women.

Jesus was way ahead of the curve in recognizing the contribution women make in the world. The women of the New Testament played a prominent role in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus welcomed women into his closest discipleship:

"After this he journeyed through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve accompanied him, and also some women.... Mary called the Magdalene, ...Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who were assisting them out of their means." (Lk 8:1-5).

Women welcomed him into their homes, fed him, prayed with and for him, and contributed financially to his ministry. They also traveled with him and the disciples. This kind of association with women during the 1st Century was highly unusual because women didn’t normally even speak to men in public, not to mention travel around the countryside with them. Some of the women risked their lives by witnessing his death on the cross. And Jesus even chose a woman, Mary Magdalene, to make his first appearance after his resurrection. What an honor!

Yes, Jesus acknowledged the gifts, talents, and contributions of women way before an international day was put on the calendar. The women he honored were virtuous women. They were women filled with the love of Jesus and were willing to sacrifice in order for his message to be proclaimed. They were women of excellence.

I am blessed with an abundance of women friends. They have seen me through the best of times and the worst of times. I salute the women in my life on International Women’s Day. I encourage you to find a way to encourage a woman who has influenced your life in a positive way. Lift her up! Follow the lead of Jesus and acknowledge her gifts, talents, and contributions!

Then, women, let us strive to be virtuous women, women who worship and fear the Lord, and women who are not ashamed of the gospel. Let us be women of excellence.

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-GOD.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
Proverbs 31:30-31


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