Today was the fifth and final session of the Fall Reflection Series that Jennifer Wright and I have been co-facilitating at the University of St. Thomas (on the Minneapolis campus) this year. The theme for this five week series was Women of the Bible.
In the earlier sessions of the series, we reflected on Sarah and Hagar, Rachel and Leah, Ruth and Naomi, as well as some lesser-known women of the Hebrew Scriptures. (If you are interested, scroll back through prior posts to check out the podcasts from those earlier sessions.) We ended our program today with Mary and Elizabeth.
In her talk, Jennifer offered some reflections about each of Elizabeth and Mary individually, and then about their relationship with each other. Near the end of her talk, she brought us back full circle to our first session by comparing what we see in the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth with what we saw in the relationship of Sarah and Hagar.
Jennifer also distributed a handout containing a contemporary translation of the first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel. She made the observation that we know some of these stories so well that it is easy for us to gloss over them. She expressed the hope that a new translation of the episodes might help us reflect on the passages with new eyes.
After Jennifer’s talk we spent some time talking about the participants’ thoughts about Mary and Elizabeth and then gave folks a chance to share about some of the other wonderful women of the bible we did not cover in this series. Perhaps we’ll have to start planning Women of the Bible, Part II!
You can access a recording of the Jennifer’s reflection here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 25:26.) You can find a copy of the prayer materials we distributed to participants here.