It is Lenten season.
To my knowledge this is the first time I have been intentional in this season. I have some friends that are holding me accountable. I have enrolled in an online bible study course with Trinity United Church of Christ. I have been praying for some specific things during this time. One of my friends has created a glorious document of sermons, podcasts, scriptures and songs.
One podcast Theology Live featured Rev. Janae Pitts Murdock. In this podcast, she talked about women in the bible that she finds is influential. I enjoyed this episode so much. But what really stood out to me was what a comment Rev. Pitts Murdock talked about how women have shaped the church and her experience with God. She said that it was women who were her first pastors.
It struck a chord with me when I thought about how this mirrored my life. In my mind, I think about my grandmother. Her favorite scripture was John 3:16. I knew that very early as a child. The simple gospel: “For God so loved the world…”
It struck a chord with me when I think about my aunt who I can talk to about anything and she can relate it to scripture and stories in the Bible. She one was the one who taught me that the Word was living and breathing and applicable to the past, present and future.
It struck a chord with me when I think about my mother who in her actions she exemplifies John 13:34-35: 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
So this poem is a tribute to my first pastors: Maxine, Corliss and Crystal. Enjoy.
The pulpit was the kitchen
the living room
the church reception hall
sermons given through plates of southern cooking
lessons on living and growing and coming to be
examples of how to love, how to have a relationship with God
that was mine, not theirs
Before my baptism in the church, the immersion began when Nanny taught me
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”
I didn’t just memorize it. I knew it and felt it and believed it.
The foundation began with three women who showed me that the church is more than a building.
The church is people loving and giving.
Before any man in a robe stood before me , the Holy Spirit
already was upon three women in Decatur, Ga.