We love our heroine Esther and her moment of courageous availing. A step out to go before the king and intercede. Yet, in the first few chapters of the story Esther is defined and explained as silent. The narrative is not even told from her perspective, it does not focus on her bravery, but rather on her compliance and her upbringing. In Esther's life much like in our own, there will be a moment, a pause accompanied by a question. A question we will have to answer, a moment that can change the rest of the story. In this teaching, Aliyah takes us to that moment and directs it towards ourselves.
Romans chapter 16 is a list of greetings Paul makes to the faithful believers in Rome. In his moving movement of longing to be with the women and men he knew, he 16 listed 29 individuals, 10 of them were women. This list mentions 6 specific congregational functions, positions of service and authority within the earliest meeting places. In these roles, Paul greets only 3 men while 7 women are named as active in congregational roles. These include the role of deaconess, patron, co – labourer, host, labourer and apostle. In this teaching, Aliyah digs deep in to the female leaders Paul greets, and discovered how powerfully they led, fought, mentored, preached, taught and worked for the kingdom.
What could have “shaken and stirred” Paul to such an extent that he writes this letter from a prison cell, during a time of trial and pain? The answer was simple – he needed to save a man’s life. But one woman was called upon to help make this decision, a decision for death or life, her name was Apphia. This teaching forms part of the Female Leadership in the New Testament series.