Given By Rev. Madison Shockley June 2, 2019

The reading speaks about an event of the early church.  The woman in our reading today had the gift of divination. This made her owners rich.  She followed the apostles around and Paul became annoyed. Paul was so annoyed that he cured her to try and make her go away. When she was cured, the Romans arrested and tortured Paul.  The question we ask is what happen to the woman after she was cured.  No one knows. We are interested in the people on the margins of these types of stories. People who do not have power, rights, or are even named in the story. The gifted woman may have wanted to be free of her gift so she would not be exploited by her owners anymore. Throughout history, women have had to use extraordinary means to get justice/rights/freedom. Well-behaved women seldom make history. Today, women are facing a challenge concerning reproductive rights. The terms we use frame how the topic is viewed. Reproductive justice is the framework we must use in order to expand the topic to women, not just a medical procedure. Using a medical procedure to control or shame women is not fair.  Women have a unique relationship to the procreative gift of the divine. God entrusted women with the reproductive process. God and women are partners. We offer spiritual support to those facing this difficult choice. The best reflection of God is our freewill. We must stand together.