July 21, 2019

The Better and the Less-Better Parts

A sermon by Luana Uluave

In this version of the story, each of the women is what’s called a trope - a trope is a sort of short cut writers use in literature, to make readers think of a particular stereotype and all that goes with it. We know lots of tropes. Princesses are helpless and wait to be rescued by handsome princes. Nerd girls get contact lenses and turn out to be secret beauty queens. Grandmas are Mrs. Piggle-Wiggles and give you cookies and read you books. But real women are not tropes. Real women are practical and faithful, grumpy and serene, active and contemplative, homemakerly and ministerial. I prefer to read Mary and Martha as real women, and that means that I can’t be content to treat them as tropes. How can I make room for a fuller reading of both sisters?