Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

5th Sunday after Epiphany – Year A RCL

Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12), 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16), Matthew 5:13-20

About ten years ago, while working at Chase Bank, I was selected to participate in an Executive Women’s Consortium at Smith College in Massachusetts. I spent two weeks with about 125 other women executives from various corporations. Each day we’d attend classes led by professors from ivy-league universities. The classes weren’t so much finance-related, but instead provided deeper insight into aspects of society that impact our lives and businesses.

One class in particular has continued to stick with me through the years. The focus of the discussion was on Culture and Diversity. In general, we tend to think of Culture in fairly broad terms, specifically as it relates to Race, Gender, Nationality – things like that.

I remember the instructor talking about gender – pointing out some basic differences in how men and women handle things – even something as simple as greeting one another. You see, when a woman greets another person, she often begins with some kind of compliment – “Oh, Suzie, your hair looks so nice, is that a new style?” or “The blue in that dress really brings out your eyes!” You know how it works.

On the other hand, men have the opposite approach. If a man begins by paying a compliment to another man, it’s only as a way to get to the jab… “Dennis, that’s a great tie you’re wearing, too bad you spilled your lunch on it!” Right?!

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