Imagining Mary Magdalene
I had read this manuscript, but listening to you, and the passion with which you delivered. It brought me to tears. Thank you so much for breaking the rules.
I heard this sermon when you posted it last year; I have also watched an hour and a half webinar of Libbie presenting this material, and then The Cottage last week. I am so moved by what in the deepest parts of my being are certain this is accurate that I actually decided to preach it last Sunday to a rural SW PA congregation of about 18 people. I knew there would be 2 children (4th/6th grades) so the Children's Time was my 'set-up' having them read 2 sentences of the beginning of a biography being written 100 years from now: "Once upon a time there was a High School student named Norma who was very bad at math class. One day after a test she went into the girlls' restroom and screamed loudly.' But what if the biographer consulted my great-great grandson...and he didn't like it. So he edited (changed) it to read: (2nd printout but with words lined out and others handwritten in): 'Once upon a time there was a High School student named Norma who was an excellent musician. One day after a concert she fist-pumped, yelled 'Yes!' and went out to celebrate!
Obviously they understood the purpose of the changes. So I talked about other reasons we might change writings...and even went into Bible experts agreeing on what words and phrases mean sometimes, and times when there are some irregularities and they can't all agree as to what it should be. Those are the times we see what the ones who wrote the translation we're using puts what they think is right, BUT! add a footnote to tell you to look at the bottom of the page for what other people think it means. Through the years we have changed many words in the Bible because of new understandings, but it is still the Bible and still God's Word to us. Then we prayed our thanks for the guidance and presence of God we have from scripture.
By the time I did a bit of background on Libbie and her discovery and read vs. 1-5 that she presented last week (complete with 'Codex/Papyrus' attributions) those folks were on the edge of their pews. It was a time of real openness for their spirits, and the comments as they came through the line were the complete opposite of what I had feared. They were so appreciative of the message, of feeling like they were worthy of such an erudite conversation, even simply of sensing the truth in this premise themselves.
Thank you Libbie!!! Thank you Diana!!! I'm retired and do some pulpit supply preaching and I can assure you, many more congregations will hear this message in the coming years (I don't mind going off-lectionary if there's an important word to be shared!)
I read this and decided to read most of your sermon, instead of the one I wrote. I only wish you would make these Saturday musings.
I have never realized how much more I could learn and grow in my faith and at the same time be aware of and hunger for the knowledge and growth I do not have!
I took in Diana's sermon just before heading off to my Episcopal service, and I didn't cry but my head was about to explode the whole morning. I mentioned my experience with this sermon and Schrader's research to our rector's dad, retired bishop of Virginia Neff Powell, and he was excited that I knew about this provocative idea. I guess Bingham (rector) was her assistant or something. I'm so glad I get to be part of a progressive-thinking place that is inclusive, community-minded and loving. Thank you Libbie and Diana, for helping put the SHE back into the gospel.
Really interesting exegetical scholarship here! And it occurs to me that not only did our misogynistic Church Fathers write Mary Magdalene out of the John 11 story, they also, somewhere along the line, allowed (encouraged?) the legend of her being a prostitute to spread as well. So typical. Take a woman with power and make a whore out of her to be sure her greatness is never seen. Good work Libby and Diana!
When are we going to get off of this woman’s back? What’s with this morbid over-the-top negative energy with Magdalene? Perhaps it’s about the modern day woman living into her full God-given power…..
After listening to your sermon I went back and read the text of John Chapter 11. The first verse where it says “a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha - do we now think that Martha should have Mary and the phrase have been “Mary and her sister Mary” (which would not make much sense) or do we think that the person who changed Mary to Martha in the verse where she declares that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, he who is coming into the world, do we think that that person added the phrase “ and her sister Martha” to verse 1?
Thanks for your sermon. I would like to suggest that Maggie Ross would appreciate it, if she hasn’t heard it already. Diana you have brought light to a dark night. Brava.
Wow! Thank you! Brought me to tears. Yes, I, too, knew this intuitively
Yes Yes Yes. Let those with ears hear…. Mary, the Tower. This is sooo harmonious.
Alleluia! I first discovered you, and I began my “deconstruction” in earnest as I, among thousands, discovered this video shortly after you delivered it nearly a year ago. I, too, intuitively knew in my soul that there is so much more to experience as a woman of faith. I, too, stand beside the Tower of our faith as well as I stand upon the Rock. She makes our faith journey real, now that we know who she really is. Blessings to Libby, and you, together, for uncovering what was hidden from us for too long. Amen!
Wow! Thank you for sharing this truth. Imagine…..
I am thankful for this today as it is the 2nd time through for me and flows somewhat deeper than before. I've realized that I've always recognized that women were the 1st to go to the tomb and that women voices have been the ones who have shaped my life in the past as well as present. The story is what impacted me most the 1st time though. This time it was the raw transparency and the depth of emotion that came through during your presentation that uncovered how much I sensed that this COULD be true but wasn't able to connect the dots. I imagine that both your name and Libby's will be quite prominent over the coming months and years!
Thank you! Thank you for unveiling Mary the Tower! Thank you for giving all your sisters hope and strength! Thank you for letting us imagine a new way to think and be!
Simply Thank you !