“In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:28-29
This Sunday, 8 March, we celebrate International Women’s Day. It was first celebrated in 1911 only in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and was then was made official in 1975 when the United Nations lent its support to the cause of women’s rights. It has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics, while the political roots of the day means strikes and protests are also organised to raise awareness of the continued inequality that exists in the world. Given the patriarchal nature of the society and culture the Bible was written in it is unsurprising that some of its rhetoric seems archaic today. However if we look at the accounts of Jesus interactions with women we see that he stepped outside of the societal boundaries of the day and addressed women he met as equals and having many as close friends. His male followers were shocked at times by his actions but he was showing them a new way of viewing the world, one where God’s love transcends all boundaries and is available to all. This year IWD is focuses on “An equal world is an enabled world”; let’s keep working together until we achieve that ideal.
God of humanity, we thank you for the changes that have taken place in our society to improve the equality between men and women and acknowledge that there is still more to be done. We ask that our school would be a place where the achievements of all are celebrated and people do not feel pigeonholed, or held back due to their gender, sexuality, skin colour or for any other reason. May we enable and celebrate the flourishing of all, that together we might experience the fullness of life that you offer. Amen.