Women's History Month-Dignity for All
CREATED SECOND, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD/STAND WITH UKRAINE - NO MORE WAR
Created Second - For the Glory of God
SECOND DOES NOT MEAN SECOND FIDDLE
Too often, many are taught that women were of less value than men because they were created second. The first two human beings on the face of this earth were created by God. First, male than female. It was assumed that the order of first and second imposes a rating system of a person's dignity and status. The being that is created first is one of greater value. So, if I put my sock on my left foot first, I favor my left foot over my right. Therefore the second being is to play second fiddle to the first. Imagine explaining to your 4th child her/place of worth? To create one being with less honor than the other does not align with God's character. It also undermines the Master Artist. Neither does the creation story in Genesis 1,2, and 3 give such differentiation of status.
What kind of society would this mindset lead to? Is this a true reflection of the image of the triune God and his workmanship? Is this why humanhood is falling apart destroying each other?
SINNING FIRST DOES NOT INDICATE A DEFICIENT BEING
Too often, many also taught that women were the weaker being. This interpretation was based on the part where the second being was the first to sin and ate the fruit from the tree God warned about. Thus causing worldwide suffering. Therefore all second beings (women) are not allowed to have an education or take on any significant leadership role.
What kind of judicial system would this mindset lead to? Is this a true reflection of God's love and justice that rolls like a river? Is this why our judicial system seems to penalize more than restoration?
A FRESH INTERPRETATION FROM THE SECOND BEING
Who is this second being God created? What is the significance of this second being? What happened during the Fall?
WOMEN, YOU ARE VERY GOOD IN GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
The master artist was passionately at work saying, "Let's make them in our image." God is a spiritual relational community being. Being made in their image, both beings are community beings. The master artist then declares the relational togetherness of these beings "very good." God was very pleased with the second being and the first. Both beings carry within themselves the image of the triune relational God. God was equally delighted about the two humans they created. Second beings, you are very good.
SECOND BEING - THE CLIMACTIC WORK OF THE MASTER ARTIST
The master artist paused after creating the first being and announced that it was not good for the human to be alone. The Master Artist then finishes their masterpiece by creating an ezer kednego as a companion mirroring the image of God as protector and rescuer. At first sight, the first being burst out with joy declaring like never before 'this now is flesh of my flesh, bone of my bones.' This was never declared with the animals. This second being was different, yet a part of me, made from my own flesh and bone. The first being finally experiencing a commutual relationship. She is no second fiddle, but the culminating mark of the richness of community life through the creation of ezer kednego. Second beings, without you there is no community.
BOTH MESSED UP, BOTH FORGIVEN BY GOD
Both beings were together in the garden. Both ate the fruit from the tree they were warned against. They both hid in shame. God approached both of them to let them speak and tell their story of what happened. Here we begin to see red flags of a broken commutual relationship. The first being blames God rather than taking responsibility. The second being shows us that we could be open and honest with God when we mess up. In humility, the second being directs God to the serpent and admits she was deceived. God forgave both and restores their relationship despite its brokenness.
Unfortunately, dismissing God’s warning brought conflict into the human relationship. Ultimately this has led to the patriarchal and hierarchal headship we are experiencing today. Yet God’s good news of hope. Second beings, you are the hope of redemption.
SECOND BEING: EZER KEDNEGO - LINE OF REDEMPTION - MOTHER OF THE LIVING
God anoints the second being as an ally for redemption. Through her line of daughters, the Messiah will come and take down the relational wall of hostility and create a new community. The Messiah will end the serpent and put an end to his reign of deception.
SIN BROUGHT DEATH, BUT THE FIRST BEING WAS DRAWN BACK TO THE SECOND BEING COMPANION, EZER KEDNEGDO, AND IDENTIFIES HER AS MOTHER OF ALL LIVING - Genesis 3:20
SECOND BEINGS! RISE UP! CELEBRATE! BE ALL THAT YOU WERE MADE TO BE!
FIRST BEINGS! JOIN YOUR COMPANION AND BE THE IMAGE OF GOD!
EVERY BEING! JOIN PAUL IN CREATING EZER COMMUNITIES AND REDEEM OUR COMMUTUAL LIFESTYLE!
Ukraine, will the war end soon?
It is now just over of month since Ukraine was invaded and bombed by the Putin-led Russian attack. Just like many of you, we have been praying fervently, giving to relief and rescue organizations on the grounds of helping Ukrainians (fleeing and/or staying), joining rallies, attending prayer gatherings, and demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine. Still, the war is not slowing down, rather it is escalating. Even with most of the global states placing sanctions, cutting ties, and closing economic investments, it seems to have the opposite impact. We want the war to stop. We feel helpless as we read the news. We wonder if…
…God is listening to our prayers?
…God is doing something?
…God cares at all?
I believe the answer is an aching YES. God is listening, God is doing something and God cares about what is happening. I believe God is showing up in our anger, pain, and sorrows. I believe God is in the situation of rescue and relief. I believe God is fighting alongside those in arms and the strategy planning room. I believe God is accompanying those who had to flee and those who have stayed, sheltered. I believe God is staying with those who lost their lives and waiting to be buried. God is Emmanuel, with us.
We don’t know when or if this will end. How much more devastation will continue. What other unexpectant global scale of impact will continue to shape our future. What we do know is that we must keep our eyes ever more focused on Jesus, and be ready to respond to the personal and collective invitations to love our neighbor during this time of war and no peace yet. Since Purim and Lent overlapped this year, may the story of Esther’s trust and Jesus’ journey to the Cross assist us in our faith and prayers as we wait and hope together for Ukraine. Amen.
Let's pray with this prayer from Rabbi Nachman
May it be your will
Holy One our God, our ancestors' God,
that you erase war and bloodshed from the world
and in its place draw down
a great and glorious peace
so that nation shall not lift up sword against nation
neither shall they learn war anymore...
Donation: If you would like to help war refugees read the update below. You can get more information here: https://www.spotfund.com/story/31a7466d-6245-434e-8416-b30d9fedb1fe?SFID=r2eEHE
Latest Update: The project in Krakow Poland has turned into temporary housing (3-4 weeks room and board) through a friend’s hotel where Ukrainians are getting their footing and then being provided with more permanent housing, now that there is more funding from the EU. Because Poland’s economy isn’t the strongest, many Ukrainians are moving on to Germany and Spain, where the economy is stronger. Ukrainians are hard-working and resourceful and don’t like handouts, so many want to work and are looking for work where they can. We are also working with a group of nuns who are running an orphanage for Ukrainian children, they have been so wonderful. It has been amazing seeing so many people hitting the ground running and stepping into action. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
NOTE: We chose this fundraiser because GAF members are friends of the org that is helping out on the frontlines. GAF is also donating to them this month.
Upcoming Events for April
Monthly Celebration Service (Every 1st Friday of the month)
MUTUAL AFFECTION - 2 Peter 1:5-7 (Supersized Faith/Love series)
Faith is what it takes to restore commutual relationships.
Friday, Apr. 1st • 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Come celebrate the love of God that has been poured out to each and every one of us. Through songs, sharing from God’s word, we are receiving and expressing God’s love as a community so that people can have the opportunity to know more about the sweetness of life with God.
JOG (Journey of Grace) Small Group
Weekly on Sundays • 11AM - 12:30PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 429125
Join us for a time of inner reflection through contemplative listening for the Spirit’s voice, journaling, and sharing our stories and insights with each other. We want to help each other notice God’s presence in our daily activities growing our faith.
Communion Fridays (Every 3rd Friday of the month) Come and be part of God’s commutual community deepening our spiritual relationship with Jesus and with one another. Through fellowship, prayer, and breaking of bread and love the world with Jesus.
Monthly - Feb. 18th• 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Bible Study (Every Saturday Evening 9pm - 10pm) The gospel of Luke ZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
We will read the scriptures together and let the Holy Spirit speak personally to us and share insights with each other.
Offering / Donations!
We currently allocate 90% of tithes towards our staff stipend and 10% towards an organization supporting our community during this time.
Your donation is tax-deductible. For administrative purposes, please fill out this Google Form each time you donate to GAF.
Donate via ACH/Wire: Use Account #: 875101564230; ABA #: 031101169; Alternative ABA #: 031101279 (ACH payments only).
Donate via Check: Mail your donation to Manni Lee, 275 South Street, Apt 19D, New York, NY 10002.
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