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Women revolutionary leaders

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At Christmas we mark the anniversary of a revolution. Strange, isn’t it? The thing was so hush-hush that we are not even sure about the date it was launched, and we had to revise the year that we first thought it took place.{{more}} More than that, from the time of the launching of the Christmas revolution to the time that the overthrow was announced, 30 soft years had passed. The social and political elite who were in place when the message went out to “Get Ready for Fire” “Stop the corruption” and “Regime Change – The Kingdom is coming” clearly were (see Luke chapter 3, verses one and two) the Emperor Tiberius in Rome, then in his 15th year as emperor, and six other named empire leaders. But that message of Change, which John/Jonah put out, happened thirty years after the two (2) village women leaders launched the revolution in the year BCE4. It took thirty years for their sons to be made ready to come out of the closet!

Back to the launching of this peoples’ revolution. It took place at two sites in the hills, Nazareth with Joseph, Mary and around 1500 people living in the village, and another mountain village without a name, where Elizabeth and Zacharias lived. Just watch these two women for a moment. Study them good.

Do we hear warm congratulations about what they were, or they had achieved in life – their education, property, beauty and sexiness, political party positions or strings that they could pull? Can we see any good reasons why the most high should choose to come looking for these 2 villagers to launch God’s salvation revolution process? Christmas takes us straight into the heart of such questions as: What does God see in me to want me? Who is God anyway? Is God different from how I think? What is Christmas about? Are we doing it right?

IS THERE A MIRIAM IN ME?

The Luke story says that Mary/Miriam was “troubled” when the Ambassador Gabriel came to her door. He didn’t check with her parents or husband (her CXC or UWI results, or her personal file with her employer). He seems just to have come straight from God to her! You think she was just “troubled”. She was terrified. And his message was “God wants to change your plans. He loves you plenty and wants your son to launch a new empire”. ‘Son! Son, you say, which son, no man has ever had sex with me, not even my husband!’ Miriam had self-respect and dignity and later, she is reported to be very quietly conscious about justice and corruption issues (Luke 1:51-54). Did she share these matters with her son as he grew up, I wonder. God went to a nondescript unready girl and gave her a revolutionary challenge. She said: “I am ready” or as another servant said “Here I am, send me”. And she went with her burning burden to visit the other revolutionary woman Elizabeth, 100 miles away across the hills-for support. Yes, what we dedicate ourselves to at Christmas is this momentous and measured and me targeting eruption of God. An eruption that continues and will advance the resolution of salvation if we have the guts of Miriam, the village maiden. How could God leave out the leaders from the launch of this empire of salvation? Is Christmas a celebration of God’s preferring people over power, faith and guts over guns, consciousness over control and coercion? Are we on track or off target this Christmas?

I have reflected recently on the gospel document from Luke 1: 26-55. It comes over to me as presenting two mountain women (married respectively to a tradesman and a local priest) whom God looked for to launch three salvation revolutions and that is what every Christmas festival is about, especially Christmas 2011. Let us do an annual relaunching of God’s three people’s revolutions (1) Personality and personal quality of life revolution (John 10.10), the national liberation identity and social mission revolution (Acts 1.5-8) and the cosmic re/co/creation revolution (Romans 8.21-23). The Mission in us is invited to launch one of these three (3) revolutions with our lives with our ‘I am ready, Lord’- Christmas with change in our personality and relationships, Christmas with change- join the street courage around the world – in our social mission and power relations, and Christmas with change in our conduct towards and stewardship over the natural and constructed environment. Two women were in the lead of these salvation movements 200 years ago. God looked for them. God targets us too. A Blessed Peoples’ Christmas to All.

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