women in the texts

Brian Wren, theologian, poet, hymnwriter,
wrote a hymn in 1982 entitled: “Woman in the Night”
celebrating women Jesus encountered in his ministry.
For our worship series: when they were old women,
I bet they wore purple, I wrote additional verses
to correspond with more of the wonderful women of Scripture,
retaining the original Brian Wren refrain.

Hagar, Genesis 16:1-16, 21:8-21
Woman in the wild, running to escape,
carrying a child, future hope to shape.
Woman who is found, then names God anew.
This the truth profound, God’s more than we knew.
refrain: Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Miriam, Exodus 2:1-10, 15:20-21
Woman in the reeds, watching innocence,
singing victory, dancing violence.
How to reconcile, partiality:
God of blood and bile,
and a baby’s smile?
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Machlah, Noah, Choglah, Milcah and Tirtzah
(the daughters of Zelophehad), Numbers 27:1-8
Women in the right, suffering through the wrong,
lead us into light, with your voices strong—
strong enough to change God’s own word made law—
thoughts to rearrange, led us back to awe.
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Deborah and Yael, Judges 4-5
Women of the song, hard to figure out.
In your actions strong, we your morals doubt.
You intent unknown, making your own choice,
options you do hone, acting as God’s voice.
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Vashti and Esther, Esther
Women uncontrolled, you don’t just obey.
Don’t do as you’re told, as you choose your way.
For such times as these, you demand respect,
as your life you seize, God’s truth you reflect.
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

the unnamed woman who anointed Jesus, Mark 14:3-9
Woman who anoints, does more than she knows,
offers gifts that point, on to future woes.
Hard truth you embrace, do not shy away
and the point of grace, you make real today.
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Tabitha and Priscilla and Phoebe,
Acts 9:36-42; 18:1-4, 18, 24-28; Romans 16:1-4
Woman who did lead, in the early church,
in both word and deed, for her role we search.
Not affirmed by men, not allowed to teach,
come lead us again, as the truth you preach.
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Sophia, Proverbs 8
Wisdom was with God, when all things were made;
she wants us in awe of God’s dream displayed.
She points out the way and calls in the streets,
this and every day, “God your life completes!”
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Seizing our own time, living in the now,
wisdom’s gift sublime, showing us all how
to discern what’s true and to name what’s real—
God’s grace to pursue, God’s whole world to heal
Come and join the song, women, children, men.
Jesus makes us free to live again!

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