I’ve always marveled that the first financial supporters of Jesus’ ministry included women. In a culture where women were not highly valued, Jesus helped these first women of God discover their purpose, ignite their passion and initiate a plan for giving. And like many of us, they liked to give in community too. Scripture says, “These women were helping to support them out of their own means” Luke 8:3.
Women were also the first evangelists to spread the joyful news of Jesus’ resurrection. Mary Magdalene was one of the women supporting Jesus’ ministry out of her own means, but she is also mentioned in all four gospel accounts as the first person to talk with the risen Lord. Scripture notes that this same woman, who had seven evil spirits cast out of her–who had been shamed and humiliated by society–was the first person our Lord chose to reveal Himself too. She is mentioned by name 12 times in the four gospels which is more than some of the apostles are mentioned. I don’t believe Mary was more special than any of us. I believe she was changed by the generous life of Jesus and she couldn’t contain her gratitude.
If I’m honest, I don’t want to need that much grace.
If I’m honest, I don’t want to need that much grace. I want nice, neat grace. Socially acceptable grace. Grace that says, “I need Jesus, but not so much that renders me hopeless apart from a generous act.” Women who experience grace (the generosity of God) are a force to be reckoned with. They are “Easter Women” to quote a famous line from Pope John Paul II. We can be Easter women too. We just need to stop trying so hard and look in the tomb: “He is not here. He is risen!”
Where are you living too small? Is God asking you to step out of your comfort zone and do something only resurrection power can empower you to do? Maybe He is asking you to forgive someone who has deeply hurt you, or give a gift that is more than you think you can afford, or spend time with someone you have nothing in common with. Whatever it is, our generous God will surely be there with all that you need.
Happy Easter! He is Risen!