by Kristin Fontaine
Although she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
Today we celebrate the lives of four amazing women who took the Bible as a document calling for liberation.
Sojourner Truth, Harriet Ross Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Amelia Bloomer all stood up to the forces arrayed against them in their times and used their grounding in the bible as an inspiration to both speak and act on their convictions.
They were incarnations of Wisdom and modern-day prophets who not only spread the Good News but used powerful stories in both the Old and New Testament to power their own lives and the actions they took on behalf of the people living under slavery and patriarchal oppression.
They took up the biblical narrative and carried it into their own modern day. By their example, showing us that it is truly a living testament that can speak to the oppressed and give them both the hope that things as they are will not remain and that they could be agents of change.
They also all fought for freedom in their own individual ways. Ms Tubman rescued slaves and was an active spy, cook, and nurse for the northern forces in the Civil War. Ms Truth was a street preacher and founder of homeless shelters. Ms Stanton stood up against church teachings she felt were wrong and fought for rights for women. Ms Bloomer was active in everything from reform dress for women to advocating for progressive and reform movements.
Each woman saw a need that grew out of her own experience and then took up that cause, spread it to others and used stories from the bible and their own testimony to spread their Good News, their vision of what the world could look like.
They all worked through years of frustration and anger to find hope for a better world.
Once they found that hope they spread it as far and wide as they could, working for years through everything from physical disabilities, social disapproval, and danger to life and limb.
Through their ground-breaking work we have inherited a better world and been shown an example of how finding the good news in our own faith can give us the strength to go out and share the Good News of love and grace and change the world in the process.
All bible quotes are from either the NRSV or RSV text at Bible Gateway
Kristin Fontaine is an itinerant Episcopalian, crafter, hobbyist, and unstoppable organizer of everything. Advent is her favorite season, but she thinks about the meaning of life and her relationship to God year-round. It all spills out in the essays she writes. She and her husband own Dailey Data Group, a statistical consulting company.