Tag Archives: justice

Luke 2:25-38 and a woman’s voice


I think often Jesus, in his ministry, used “masculine” and “feminine” imagery to get the same point really across. For example, the Kingdom of Heaven is like: yeast and will multiple the dough; or it is like a net which will catch a large amount of fish. If you don’t know something about yeast and dough, then maybe the fish will catch your imagination.

So — the widow, Anna, also praises the baby Jesus. If you do not trust the words of a proper righteous man, that’s ok. You can listen to Anna. It isn’t exactly equal time here, but I am told that in that time and place the word of a woman was not “trusted”, especially legally, the way a man’s word was; a widow could not own property; a widow on her own, as Anna was, would have a very hard time. She would be perhaps invisible to people, or perhaps she would be useful, perhaps she kept things clean? We do not know a lot. I am sure that if she was not truly nice and truly thoughtful and helpful, and truly worshiping God with a shining and inspiring sincerity, they would not have let her stay at the temple all those years of her widowhood. So she earned some right to be heard.¬†She chooses to speak to “those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”.

Meaning those who were seeking justice from oppression¬†politically, perhaps from the Romans, perhaps in other ways that oppression can occur. If you are looking for redemption, then you have something that needs to be sorted out, reclaimed, redeemed, remade…..

“At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Perhaps Simeon spoke to those of power. Perhaps Anna spoke to those without.

Jesus, I hope, speaks to us all.



Moses and Zipporah (Exodus 2:11-22)

This love story starts with a murder — verses 11 to 15 are about Moses stopping an Egyptian from beating a Hebrew. He knows that he is a Hebrew by birth, but he feels for the injustice and “He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” Wow! Moses grows up and bam gets in trouble immediately. But he’s afraid. He’s didn’t haul the Egyptian to a person in authority for public justice. He didn’t try to change the system. He’s a young man and a hot head at that.

Funny how I don’t think of Moses as being a young man. I think of him as a baby and then as a old man. Chopping away preconceptions frees the text. Interestingly, in the footnotes the word used for “beating” is same word used for the retributive plagues later, only then translated as “strike”. Huh — the plagues will be a beating, will strike the Egyptians, as this Hebrew is now being “striked/beaten”.

The story starting out this way would mean starting with a lot of motion, a lot of action, a lot young-man energy. I find myself resisting the story, wondering about the mixed messages. Moses didn’t like the Hebrew being beaten, didn’t like what he saw of the forced labor, identifies with the people despite his upbringing. Yet he is hiding, tricky, and lying (acting as if he didn’t kill anyone). He looks this way and that…if he had seen that he was observed, he wouldn’t have acted. There’s something mixed up going on, it isn’t just freedom fighting or hot headed anger.

What do you think? How do you feel about about this passage? Would we act if we saw a child hit? an older person? a person our age? if we thought it was unfair? Now a days with a camera in every phone, perhaps the light shines more easily! What if what we saw wasn’t the “real” story? How do we know a story from seeing?

Maybe I’m just completely over-thinking an exciting story!