Woman, Where Art Thou?
Dear North Church Family,
Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I had an awesome time this February celebrating Black History Month. Although the history of Blacks in America is not just our history, or one part of American history but rather world history, it is no less gratifying to set aside some time each year to focus on our contributions to this nation and to humanity.
There is another slightly overlooked minority making contributions to world history which, until 1987, went somewhat uncelebrated: women. From Genesis 1:27 to Revelation 12:1, women have been depicted as repositories and reflectors of the very image and glory of God. When Christ wanted to communicate His desire to protect and guide Israel the analogy He used was that of a hen gathering “her” chicks. (Matthew 23:37 KJV)
March is Women’s History Month – a month where we take time to honor the legacy and leadership of women all over the nation and world. Although setting aside this month to celebrate women is a monumental step toward impacting their plight, it is not the final step. According to data from the Families Against Mandatory Minimums Foundation, over the past 30 years, while the U.S. male prison population has grown 416%, the female prison population has grown over 800%. In 2013, the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health reported that, compared to non-Hispanic white females, non-Hispanic black females’ rate of death were:
• 1.8 times higher for homicide
• 1.6 times higher for kidney disease
• 1.5 times higher for diabetes
• 1.1 – 1.4 times higher for all cancers, influenza and pneumonia, heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and septicemia
These statistics show us that just as the enemy set his sights on Eve, he has continued to target our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters and sisters, knowing that should he gain a victory over them, it will affect all humanity.
Nonetheless, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved… then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26-27 KJV), thus modeling for us the importance of our responsibilities to the women in our lives. He showed us that even as He was performing the work of redemption, He took time to honor His mother.
Therefore as “beloved disciples”, let us heed the words of our Savior and not only during the month of March, but as often as we have the opportunity, look to, look for and look after the women who impact the history of mankind, as well as those impacted by its struggles.
We’re excited about how we’ll be celebrating Women’s History Month at North! We have four amazing preachers visiting us – Pastor Rebecca Davis on March 4, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie on March 11, Pastor Tacyana Nixon on March 18, and we’ll close out the month with a preacher who is very, very special to me – Pastor Brenda Billingy. The Philadelphia Girls Choir will be with us on the morning of March 18, and in concert at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon. These young ladies are our neighbors – they rehearse only a few minutes away from our church! We look forward to making their acquaintance.
Please invite your friends to visit with us as we celebrate women throughout the month!
Be Blessed & A Blessing,
Pastor Marquis D. Johns