The women of Kiel Church decided to have a monthly Ladies Tea. This past Saturday was this month’s Ladies Tea, and I (Linda) was lucky to be invited and involved. In the past, the ladies just had tea, but this month the organizer of the event, a woman from the UK, asked me to provide a short devotion.
Five ladies came on Saturday afternoon. Represented was the US (me), UK, Germany, Russia, and another young woman from the US. We enjoyed British tea, good tarts (as you can see from the picture), and great conversation. I led a short devotion about the Woman at the Well. Ed had preached about this woman at church the previous Sunday, so this was a good chance to follow up. I spoke about the fact that the widows of that time who were alone had 3 options – become a beggar, become a prostitute, or live under the protection of another man. The Woman at the Well chose to live under the protection of another man; even though the man was not her husband. God used this woman, as she opened her heart, to become one of God’s leaders and one of the first evangelists. She was definitely a Woman in Leadership as the devotion was titled.
But the conversations in the room were some of the deepest, most moving conversations in which I have ever been involved. It began with a discussion about the Harry Potter book & movie series. One person was explaining how this series can be read in a religious context. Some view the books as a Christian allegory, similar to the C. S. Lewis Narnia series. However, many disagree with this idea, and thus started our interesting conversation. We had women on both sides of this issue, but the differences were based on the individual’s cultural context, and their religious faith, or lack thereof, within their childhood home.
The conversation continued after the Tea, as we spoke about culture & backgrounds. I have never met persons who were exposed to real witchcraft as children – by their mothers – as was expressed to me on Saturday. I began to think that we need to be careful when we are discussing issues of the “world of the unknown” with others. Some people are trying hard to disengage themselves from various upbringings & addictions, and are asking God to step in and take control. They do not have the time or energy or need to be introduced to “innocent magic”, especially when it’s introduced in a “childlike” manner. I think it would be similar to a recovering alcoholic offered just a little alcoholic toast for a special occasion. Magic and alcohol can both be introduced innocently, but can lead to a life long addiction.
Much to learn in a Ladies Afternoon Tea. I hope to remember my lessons & to be mindful of the women in my group with different cultures, upbringings, and our needs of the Cross. My take away is to not support books or movies without first knowing the full extent of the theology behind the writings, and knowing the audience in which these works are being presented.
Paul, in Romans 14:21, gives us this message (taken from The Message): “When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.”