There’s no shortage of reasons to ordain women, but the most effective argument I’ve ever heard is this:
Jesus Christ, on the first day of the new creation, sent Mary Magdalene as the first person to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, to tell the world that Christ is risen. (Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!)
Jonathan Aigner at Ponder Anew picks up on this as he laments that he’s never heard a woman preach on Easter Sunday. Even though our Lord sent women out on that first holy morning, even though Mary Magdalene is the Apostle to the Apostles, women are so rarely in the pulpit on Easter morning.
For my own part, going on now thirty Easter sermons, I can only remember hearing a woman preach this most holy feast one year.
Gender inequality is still a very real problem in the Church, even in traditions like the UMC and the ELCA that ordain women. I know many women in ministry serving as solo and associate pastors, but off the top of my head, only know of one serving as the senior pastor of a parish. The way most parishes divide preaching responsibilities, with the senior preaching Christmas and Easter, that means that men are in the pulpit on Easter morning even in churches served by women in associate roles.
And so, as Aigner suggests:
Let’s follow Jesus’ example. Next year, let’s have a woman in every pulpit, preaching the good news of the resurrected Christ. In fact, let’s do the same thing every year.
Until next year, I leave you with two sermons from the Rev. Anna Tew and the Rev. Katherine Museus, faithful women and talented preachers serving Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church who were in the pulpit on Easter morning, sharing the Good News and envisioning a resurrected community.