Peter, Paul, and Mary
Posted by Zenaida
At the recent Exponent retreat, the keynote speaker gave a presentation on the following verses of Paul’s epistles:
1 Tim. 2
11 Let the woman learn in asilence with all subjection.
1 Cor. 11
I am not going to try to summarize the entire presentation in this post, but I will mention a point that stuck out to me. Paul’s epistles were written to combat the local permutations of Christianity. People tried to impose Jewish law on the Christian teachings, and later inaccurate translations could account for ideas about women that were not in harmony with Christ’s teachings. Hopefully there will be more discussion on this topic, but, I share these verses because they inspired contemplation about how I personally relate to God, Christ and the way the church presents Christ’s messages. Is man my head, and how does my personal relationship with God work?
I found that I relate more often to the stories of men than of women. Mostly because women’s stories are sparse, I suppose. I would like to share one that has significant meaning for me right now:
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was aafraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
It amazes me that Peter walks out to the Lord, and when he begins to fear he sinks. He is actually walking on water, and even as he is doing it, he doesn’t really believe it, because he sinks.
I can definitely relate to this in my life. Being a musician, playing music is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. I’ve studied and worked hard to perfect pieces of music, and I distinctly remember being in a lesson, playing for my teacher, and I was able to play this piece beautifully and accurately, earning the praise of my teacher. But, even as I was doing it, I couldn’t believe that it was actually me doing it. I still work hard, and I still have to work to believe that I am doing it, and doing it well. Although, I’ve found that letting go, and allowing myself to have faith in myself is a lesson I’m learning one step at a time. Being able to play music for the love of it; being able to share it with other people and communicating in a way that is transcendent; being in the moment and loving it for what it is; these are the reasons I love what I do, and I will continue to work for that openness.
I love Peter’s story, because he is the first apostle, a leader among leaders. He is confident enough to walk on water, and human enough to sink. It gives me hope.
A story about a woman that reaches out to me is Mary Magdalene’s story. And, since it is Easter, this one has been prevalent in my consciousness. Mary comes to the tomb to do what she can for the Lord, even after he has died, and finding it empty weeps. Two angels come to her and ask her why she is crying, whom she answers with her fear that Jesus’ body has been taken. She turns to see him standing there, but blinded by tears, doesn’t know it is him.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, aMaster.
She was the first person to see him resurrected, and had the honor of bearing that knowledge first. She knew him when he spoke her name. She had compassion to serve the Lord when there was nothing more to be done. She was allowed to see him even before he had returned to the Father. She took the message to the apostles. That also gives me hope.