Letting Junia Speak: In Praise of the Crain
"Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was." - the Apostle Paul, Romans 16:7 NRSV
- Junia was a woman.
- There is no evidence that any man had the name “Junias.”
- Junia is a not, as some have argued, a contracted name of Junianus.
- “Among the apostles” means Junia herself was an apostle and not simply that the apostles thought she was a good egg.
McKnight writes, "So, we conclude that there was a first-century relative of the apostle Paul named Junia; she entered into Christ before Paul did; and this Junia was an apostle. Which means (because this is what apostles did) she was in essence a Christ-experiencing, Christ-representing, church-establishing, probably miracle-working, missionizing woman who preached the gospel and taught the church."
Why is this so important to me? I believe that a healthy church should have a multitude of voices present; young and old, new converts and old guard, and male and female. While I have been out with Tumor Gate '13 [herein effectively renamed Broncho-Pulmonary-palooza], other people in our community have filled in on Sunday to preach. This last week our community was privileged to have Becky Crain preach; our very own Christ-experiencing, Christ-representing, church-establishing, probably miracle-working, missionizing woman like Junia. We have also been fortunate to have Kristin Swartz-Schult preach in the past. In the future, we will be guided and taught by other capable Christ-loving and astute women. It's important for our community to be shaped by men and women who love Christ.
I am glad that we let our Junia's speak in our community. Becky is the second longest staff member we have at State Street [10 points to anyone who can name the person who has been on staff longest!] She understands the vision like few do. More importantly, she is engaged in growing with Christ like few people I know. She will always have a place to teach me, my family, and our community. We were blessed by your teaching, Becky. Thank you.
I'm proud of you, kiddo!