Shakespeare said that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” True as that may me, I wondered about our churches. Would they be as sweet, or as well-attended, if we named them thusly:
Rahab Bible Baptist–named of course for the now-famous woman who hid the Israelite spies at Jericho. Perhaps better known for her previous occupation: prostitute. Yet God rolled her into his story, and made her a part of Messiah’s earthly lineage.
Tamar Twin Pines Church of God in Christ–she who was more righteous than her father-in-law, Judah. Yes, she went to extreme ends to get what was owed her, and yet God rolled her also into his story.
Woman At The Well Living Streams Church–here again is a woman who found grace, and a place in God’s story, yet who is better known for having had five husbands, and living with a man to whom she wasn’t married. Jesus himself went out of his way to talk to her.
Mary the Weeping, Foot-Wiping, Sinner Church of the Better Part–named of course for Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who, according to John 11:2, “anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.”
Which brings me to: why are there not more Evangelical churches named after women? God himself placed a high value on them. And more importantly, what is it about grace that so assaults our sensibilities? That we don’t have any churches called “Rahab Bible Baptist?” Grace is about redemption, and redemption is God’s business.
How about this: would you rather be known for who you were, or what you were becoming? And what of these ladies of yore?
What do you think?