Girl power

March is Women’s History Month. This national celebration began in 1987 to draw special attention to the contribution of women to events in history and modern society. In addition to recognizing important women from America’s past, this annual observance also emphasizes equality among men and women. This year’s theme, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives,” calls attention to the importance of sharing women’s stories as encouragement and motivation for today’s generation to defy stereotypes and look to an even brighter future.

Jesus’ interactions with women

As in America’s early history, the culture of Jesus’ day generally regarded women as second-class citizens with few rights. However, Jesus was not afraid to cross the social barriers of the day. He treated all people with equal respect. He reached out to the outcasts with compassion, mercy, and grace.

In-crowd or outcast?

Teenagers are usually concerned with where they rank on the social strata among their peers. Youth who are not part of the “in-crowds” often find themselves yearning to belong. Despite the fact that social exclusion among adolescents is mostly unintentional, teens treated like social outcasts are more prone to depression, aggression, and suicide.

As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus’ example and reach out to those who are rejected or cast out by others. We need to recognize our individual prejudices and change our mindset in order to accept all people as God’s children in need of God’s love and grace. This awareness provides the motivation to cross over the lines that divide us and interact with those who are often excluded. Finally, we should not be afraid to do what is right, even when it means pushing the boundaries of social norms. Jesus was intentional about interacting with and helping the outcasts, and we are charged to do the same today.

Question of the day: Who goes unnoticed in your school or community?
Focal Scriptures: Matthew 15:21-28; John 4:1-26; Luke 13:10-17

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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