14.10.08

Very interesting morning prayer experiences with Judith...


Returning after the school run before 9 am to check mail and speak through morning prayer, I found it interesting to come across thoughts at CBMW that female submission is thought to continue in marriages in heaven. This is being considered at Suzanna's Bookshelf. I won't talk at length about this, it is covered well enough there. My head is also full of my essay title on women in the episcopate which I feel quite nervous about but must start today. I am praying for real wisdom in the midst of the very real passion I feel about this topic. Before starting I turn to the daily office and find that I am reading Judith. Judith? Who? I had to interrupt my conversation with God to discover a little more about her first. Today's reading is Judith 5.1 - 6.4. And so when I asked:'Open my eyes, O Lord that I may see the wonders of your law.' I am aware that there are perhaps many more 'wonders' than I had realised about scripture!

I discovered that The Book of Judith does not exist in the Hebrew Bible and is excluded from the Protestant canon but the Church has nevertheless maintained its canonicity and that Paul quoted the Greek text of Judith, viii, 14, in I Cor., ii, 10 (cf. also 1 Corinthians 10:10, with Judith 8:25 ).It is about Judith whom with virtue and courage and faith in the Lord God was preserved with the children of Israel from destruction by Holofernes and his great army. It finishes with her canticle of thanksgiving. It shows that
as God had delivered his people by the hand of Moses, so he could deliver them by the hand of the pious widow Judith. Her canticle of thanksgiving is beautiful:

Begin ye to the Lord with timbrels, sing ye to the Lord with cymbals, tune unto him a new psalm, extol and call upon his name...O Adonai, Lord, great art thou, and glorious in thy power, and no one can overcome thee. Let all thy creatures serve thee: because thou hast spoken, and they were made: thou didst send forth thy spirit, and they were created, and there is no one that can resist thy voice. The mountains shall be moved from the foundations with the waters: the rooks shall melt as wax before thy face...

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