Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney

Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney is a “[womanist] biblical scholar, author, prist, and professor of the Hebrew Scriptures… ‘Womainism is interested in the well-being of the entire community, and that especially means the wel-being of those who are vulnerable and often exploited,’ Rev. Wil explains. ‘To get there, we start by listening to Black women… I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacbo, but I also believe in the God of Hagar, Sarah, Keturah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah,’ Rev. Wil says. Not only do the stories of these often-forgotten women teach us , but by naming them, we show them respect. ‘Saying a person’s name is very important in African-derived cultures,” Rev. Wil says. ‘So it’s important to say their names.’

The names we use for God are another important part of Rev. Wil’s teaching too. Language matters; the way we speak about God determines what and who we value most. So Rev. Wil asks her students to think about the question: ‘What is your God language and why?’… Rev. Wil asks her students to imagine hearing scripture with the feminine gender of God’s Spirit still present in the words. Some examples include, She rested on them,’ ‘The Spirit of God came upon David,’ and ‘She made me.’ This last phrase is in the Hebrew Scriptures more than 30 times, usually describing God’s Spirit urging someone to take action.”

“What is your favorite word for God?”

[excerpts from “Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints” by Daneen Akers]

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 2 in our community lenten reader.