Oiled Beards & Lotioned Feet

Philippians 4:1-3

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.


Diane teaching pastors wives in Kenya

Psalm 133 extols the virtues of brothers dwelling together in unity, saying it is like oil flowing down Aaron’s beard. So I was wondering how to describe the richness of sisters dwelling together in unity. The best I could come up with is a reflection of the incident of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet in John 12:1-8. I’m thinking that women dwelling in unity as sisters in Christ is a fragrant lotion poured on Jesus’ feet: the smell will fill the whole house.

I am thankful to have experienced such a fragrant atmosphere for most of my ministry; something for which I thank God. I am thankful for the women who have labored side by side with me in ministry for many years. Starting with Diane, my wife and soul mate, my ministry partner, and love of my life, the list goes on and on…Barbara Pederson, and several several faithful women at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Vernal, Utah, and Trish and others at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rangely, Colorado, and Sandy from Roosevelt, Utah. Gloria, Cherrie, Trish and Sylvia, together with many others at Trinity in Pine Bluff, Arkansas served the cause of Christ with me. In Arlington, Texas it was Carol, Jaime, Carole, and especially Tina who served along side of me at Holy Cross. Lorene, Rhonda, Celeste, Suellen, Yevonne, Karen, Sarah, Becky, Doris, Martha, Sue, and others are sisters in Christ who celebrate, live, and share Jesus’ gift of abundant life with me at St. John in Cypress. There are others as well, Gail, Rita, Jackie, to name a few, from all over the United states have helped shape me as a servant of Christ. Sue, Carol, Pam, and Linda are fellow servants of Christ on the LCEF Board of Directors, all serving the cause of Christ in unity centered in Christ.

The danger in making a list like this is that someone will be left out and feel unappreciated or forgotten. Thankfully, none of the women who serve the cause of Christ are unappreciated or forgotten by God. Each has added to the fragrance of godly service and gospel partnership in her own unique way. Each, moreover, would wish that her service would accrue to the glory of God and the advancement of the rule and reign of Jesus in more and more hearts.

May they and we all find our true place together at the foot of the cross, and at Jesus’ feet, filling the church with the fragrance of faithful service and extravagant love.

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