Tuesday, 9 May 2017

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother by Susan L.

  "I am His brother" is the outtake from Hebrews 2:11 which reads in the NKJV, "For both He who sanctifies (makes holy) and those who are being sanctified (made holy) are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren."
  There is a lack of feminine pronouns in the Bible. Most of the books were believed to be penned by a man's hand, inspired by the Holy Spirit with the exception of the Book of Esther, inspired by the same Holy Spirit.
  Two of the most important aspects of Christianity are given feminine titles. First, the Bride of Christ (see yesterday's post). Secondly, in the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is referred to as a woman. I believe newer versions of the scriptures have expanded their translations to include the use of gender specific pronouns like she, her, etc.
  More often than not, the feminine honorifics are given over to the face of evil. It must delight the devil to no ends because division is his greatest weapon.
  Sigh. Poor Eve, if only she knew what was to be unleashed. To this day, some men still blame women for their choices just like Adam did. Another sigh. Perhaps, one day, it won't be so.

  Although, if Adam and Eve hadn't taken the fruit, would I have come to know God, His grace and salvation?
  I doubt there's enough Triple T's (thinking things through) that would ever get to the bottom of that question! It will have to be part of the mystery that is God.
  I'm getting off track. So here goes: if a man can be the Bride of Christ, there's no reason why I can't be a brother.

  I wonder, how do men wrap their heads around being called a bride?

  I wonder if we are being asked to set aside defining ourselves as men and women so we can embrace being children of God?

  My upbringing included learning gender roles. Was something "men's work" or was it the domain of a woman? It was a holdover from the fifties when mama stayed home to look after hearth and home while papa brought home the bacon. Ewww...talk about boxes!
  Sadly, gender roles are still around. My son buys his new daughter boy's t-shirts because they have statements geared to success while little girl's clothing only has glittery and disempowering, "daddy's princess" written all over them. Even though my granddaughter can't read, it's not about her. It's about breaking the restrictive roles that are still gender defined.
  It's why I knit my other granddaughter a frilled, purple sweater because she loves frilly purple only this has a hockey player on it because she's also an awesome hockey player! I'm trying to let go of archaic, barbaric lessons and embrace the new and improved attitudes regarding gender.
  My life as a single means I have to accomplish things that have been traditionally "men's work". Grass always needs cutting come summer! A frequent joke of mine is about having a "honey do" list only there ain't no honey! I confess to being much happier with a hammer in my hand than a vacuum cleaner. (Is there guilt there?)
  Hmmm, it's back to the old idea that identity is found in what I do. Man, that's a slippery one!
  So, I am Christ's brother with a wealth of experiences because I set aside gender roles. I set aside the idea that a woman couldn't learn how to do "men's work". I set aside the restrictions imposed through the misuse and misunderstanding of scriptures.
  Living outside the box has given me a way to relate to men, a common bond of experience. Thank You for that, Lord, because the bonds of brotherhood have done a whole lot of healing in my heart.
  "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end." Heb 3:14

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