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Philippians 4:2-9, Exhortations

Friday, May 11

Euodia and Syntyche

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

powerful women

I think it's funny that one of the most famous entertainers in the US goes by the name, Oprah. She was named after the Bible woman, Orpah, whose name her mother misspelled. Orpah was the daughter-in-law of Naomi that did not follow Ruth's example of remaining faithful to Naomi. Orpah returned to her hometown and we heard nothing more of her.

Here, there are two women (yes, women!) who were traveling companions and missionaries that worked alongside Paul. Their names were Euodia (yoo-OH-dee-uh) and Syntyche (sin-TIK-ee). I don't know of anyone who has been named after one of these women. But they did far more than Orpah ever did. These women were in the trenches, fighting the good fight, spreading the word of Christ, bringing news that connected Christian communities, and doing all the things any of their male counterparts were doing for Christianity. It's hard to believe that in 2018 we still have to point out the work that women do and have done, but we still have a long way to go to right the $.80 gender wage gap (62.5% for black, and 54.4% for hispanic women); a long way to balance the roughly 20% of women who hold offices in US government; a long way to uplift the women of Hollywood, of the 100 top grossing films, 8% of directors, 10% of writers, 2% of cinematographers, 24% of producers, and 14% of editors were women.

Beating a dead horse? I don't think so. When my great-great-grandkids look back with disgust and confusion that we ever lived this way, then maybe we can stop talking about it. In the meantime, let us remember that Christian women have been paving the way since, well, the beginning of Christianity. Way to go, ladies!

Narrative Lectionary Text: Philippians 4:2-9

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.