Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Shepastor: Healing and Restoration – A Word from The Rev. Dr. Alicia J. Malone, Executive Director & Founder Bondage Breakers, Inc.
About a year ago, I interviewed The Reverend Dr. Alicia J. Malone, founder and CEO of Bondage Breakers, Inc. In that interview, Rev. Dr. Malone shared, “Bondage Breaker’s, Inc. is borne out of my love for God and the broken in our midst. Its purpose and goal has always been to provide a “safety net” for those coming out of incarceration and/or confinement. BBI is in it’s 20th year, as of November 1st (2011) and has not lost it’s thrust to minister to “the least of these my brethren…Mt. 25:36ff.”
Today, Shepastor shares a meditation provided by Rev. Dr. Malone, “Going Through Samaria,” a reflection upon affirmation, healing and restoration in the lives of women in ministry.
Read on and be blessed…
Healing & Restoration by The Reverend Dr. Alicia J. Malone
John 4:1-24 – “Going through Samaria”
There is an unspoken Biblical precedence emanating from scripture, especially in the New Testament. God validates women. What I am referring to is the clear way in which Jesus affirms, elevates and respects “women.” When we take a deeper theological look inside John Chapter 4 and the engagement Jesus had with the “Woman at the Well,” many biblical and practical truths stand out:
At the onset one can clearly see that Jesus’ mission was (and is) to build involvement and community. Jesus’ mission was (and is) to break through cultural, gender and relational barriers. Jesus’ mission was (and is) to address the moral and social behavior that limits one’s access to “Kingdom living.”
As the catch phrase goes, “can you hear me now?” It would not be presumptuous to think, much less to say, that Jesus in the context of John 4, is affirming not only this woman, but women in general. Jesus’ response to the woman at the well helps women everywhere, especially believing women to know “that God is an equal opportunity Father” who has broken down the walls imposed by hierarchical structures, gender barriers and prejudice.
Women of God, let us move beyond the “walls” and go to the “well.” In the words of Mahalia Jackson, let us “Go tell it on the Mountain over the hill and everywhere…!” In her book: Chosen and Highly Favored, Dr. Diana Swoope says, “released people will communicate the power of the sacredness to others, who in turn will be set free.” Women of God, it is my prayer that we hear the Spirit in Dr. Swoope’s statement. God has a plan and it does “include us!” God has a plan, and since He has freed us. The question, however is, “what are we waiting for?” Can we hear the “woman at the well, running into the city crying: “Come see a man that told me everything I ever did…is not this the Christ (John 4:29)?”
During this season of sacredness, let us take the time to move into our sacred place. Let’s pray: “O Lord, thank you for your validation of women. Thank you for the examples in scripture that show your love, support of, and empowerment of women. Thank you for the examples of Old and New Testament women such as Queen Esther who bravely took a stance and saved her nation (Est. 4:14). Thank you for the “woman at the well” who engaged in conversation with Jesus and discovered her healing, her restoration, and her Savior! She and Esther go down in the chronicles of time as women who have inspired other women to exhibit courage in situations of oppression to call upon YOU, LORD, for deliverance, justice and liberty.”
Thank you, Lord God for the great women of the past. As we celebrate women, Christian women, movers and shakers of the 21st century, in the words of our American Baptist Societies heritage: “Rise up ladies and build; rise up with caring hearts, serving with hands and feet ready to go—with the voice of Jesus Christ.” (End quote)
May we as women embrace the liberty God has given us and walk in healing and restoration! Thank you Dr. Alicia for your words of challenge and encouragement.
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,