Last Monday, in London, a child was born and all the world took notice. A future king, whatever your view on monarchies, republics or other forms of state, is a person to be noted. As that same day rolled around our globe, about 368,538 other babies were born. Of those, 14,549 will die before they are one year old. Those born in Australia are about one tenth as likely to be in that number as the world average, and just short of one hundredth as likely as the children born in Sierra Leone. Whatever this new King of Britain becomes, and whatever world leaders are now being born and are growing up, let's continue hoping they do great things about the world conditions that lead to these dreadful statistics.
This week we celebrate Mary Magdalene, one of the truly great women we meet in the Holy Scriptures. There is a myth, I have heard loudly proclaimed, that Christianity seeks to subordinate women. Now, it may be true that over the centuries the Church has done this, but Christianity itself, I would argue, honours holy women equally to holy men. Genesis 1:27 'So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.' Jesus defends women in Matthew 9, 15, 26, Mark 14, Luke 10, 13, John 4 and 8 from the unfair criticism of the men around them. Paul, so often quoted by those who would put women on a lesser stage, cites a number of woman in church as “my co-workers” inferring their equality with him in the proclamation of the Gospel. We are all equally God's children, and equally loved and honoured by God's grace.
Ven Bill Beagley
reflections and occasional thoughts (appearing in the Parish newsletter)