24.7.08

How do we tell our daughters about God's love?
















I have two girls age 3 and a half and 6. They are full of questions and statements, which reveal their own understanding, about their relationships with God. Some of their favourite bedtime reading books are from amongst the following (see pictures).

As you can probably imagine from my blog, we're bringing up our girls to understand that they have every potential. We would not want them to think that the Bible prohibits women in ministry etc. This isn't really something we need to discuss since there is a female vicar at our church so it doesn't come up but I am conscious about choosing reading material carefully and so I was very disappointed when reading 'The Big Picture story Bible' with them last night, sceptical now about the 'Big Picture' it is actually presenting. When we read about how Mary Magdalene goes to the empty tomb, we were expecting to read about her encounter with Jesus who she had mistaken for the gardener. It is not covered at all - in the book she simply sees the tomb empty and runs away!

'...she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus. "Woman," Jesus said to her, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, "Sir, if you've removed Him, tell me where you've put Him, and I will take Him away."Jesus said, "Mary." Turning around, she said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" —which means "Teacher.""Don't cling to Me," Jesus told her, "for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God."Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them what He had said to her.' John 20 11-18

Why would they do this?

This is not what the girls were expecting not because we've been over-political in emphasizing Mary's role. I know lots of women push forward the 'women being the first to see the risen Christ' etc. This is not what they were expecting simply because they love this part of he gospel story - that Mary had mistaken Jesus for the gardener - they are amused by it. They loved this part of the gospel being acted out in the Lee Abbey estate drama that we were involved in at Easter. They were encouraged to look into the trees to see Jesus who the actor was portraying as someone cutting back the foliage so that the impression of a gardener could be understood. If the author of this book has to sacrifice content to present the big picture, which of course they have to, I am disappointed that they have to sacrifice Mary's encounter with our Lord.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.