March 5, 2023
The meeting of Mary and Elizabeth in the first chapter of Luke is a treasured story of two women connecting to share an unexpected experience, with love, excitement and probably a little fear. This image, recreated by so many artists, reminds me of the most powerful gifts I have received from other women in my life: connection, a warm embrace, a smile, a knowing glance across a room, a space to sing out my joys and my fears, the knowledge that in the most chaotic moments of life I have people whose embrace and care I can always count on.
In my late 20s, while I was finishing up graduate school, my father passed away. It was an unexpected shock, a 3 a.m. phone call that changed my life. From the moment of that 3 a.m. phone call, I was surrounded by women. Some were dear friends, some classmates and neighbors. In those moments, they became my community. Some of the same women gathered around me a few years later as I became a foster parent for the first time. In the moments of great joy, in the moments of great despair, in the moments where life has been completely upended, I am grateful for the women, and the siblings of all genders, who have gathered me in, heard my song and held me fast.
Rev. Beth Olker, serving as Field Staff for Racial Equity & Women’s Interculture Ministries, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 5, 2023, the Second Sunday in Lent (Year A)
Today’s Focus: Celebrate the Gifts of Women
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Marsha Stearley, Desktop Support Analyst, Information Technology, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)
Tim Stepp, Associate Director, Internal Audit, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)
Let us pray
Holy God, in your image you made each of us, by your grace you have given us gifts, and, through your mercy, placed us in this world to glorify your name. Bless us in the work, hold us in our fears, empower us through the gifts and love of those around us. Let us celebrate each day the gifts of women, the power of girls, and our calling to the work of justice, freedom and connection. Amen.