"He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward.....". Hebrews 5
this text is about Jesus our high priest who is available to us and shows us the way. To prayer, to the " throne of grace.". It is a word for all of us who need the mercy of God because we have to understand our need as "the ignorant and the wayward."
I write this from Charlottesville Virginia where I am attending the "Festival of the Book.". Yesterday I attended three talks about books, which is really talks about history, which is really talks about Understanding the ways we have been "the ignorant and the wayward."
One presentation was called "The historic struggle to attain gender and civil rights." we heard three historians talk about their books and we learned ( and remembered) how much society has transformed in the past 100 years and even in the Past 50 years. I was of the generation that still thought that you go to college to be a nurse, a teacher, a wife. And my daughters are of the generation that knows that women can do anything and will definitely need to work.
Change like this happens slowly and we can look back at the women of NOW and the leaders in the women's movement. But one of the writers spoke about the importance of groups like The League of women voters, the YWCA and church women united. In some ways the movements for racial equality and gender equality worked together but there are many examples of the sexism of the movement for racial equality and the racism of the feminist movement.
All of which is to say that history makes all of us humble. We look back and see the ignorance and waywardness of our country in the past and know that we may look back at our choices today in years to come and recognize our blind spots and our hurtful actions.
I feel blessed to have the time to sit and learn and struggle and see what I believe is the movement of God's spirit at work in the lives of people. Change comes because we are willing to learn new ways of seeing and we are willing to face where we have been in order to go someplace new in the future.
It was noteworthy that all of the speakers affirmed the deep faith of those women who worked for together for freedom. I do believe that it is in our relationship with God that we are able to find grace and mercy to face the past and strength and hope to build a new future.
"restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain in me a willing spirit."