The sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah, and Bered his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son and Ezer and Elead. Now the people of Gath, who were born in the land, killed them, because they came down to raid their cattle. And their father Ephraim mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him. Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son; and he anmed him Beriah, because disaster had befallen his house. His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Bethhoron, and Uzzensheerah. I Chronicles 7: 20-24 NRSV
Among the listing of the descendants of Israel, some of them stand out. This is one of them. It shows Ephraim's sons and grandsons. Ephraim was one of Joseph's sons. However, his family meets with tragedy. All of his descendants are killed. In fact, it isn't clear if the sons and grandsons were raiding the cattle or the people of Gath were doing the raiding. Either way, the outcome is death. Ephraim does have other sons but it is interesting that it is his daughter (or possibly granddaughter) who does well. Sheerah builds two cities. It is the female, in this long list of males, who makes a name for herself.
Here we are in the midst of Easter weekend when the female followers of our Lord make a name for themselves in the midst of stories about the male followers. It is to the women coming to the tomb that the announcement of the Resurrection is first made. And it is up to these women to be the first evangelists.
May we keep our eyes open this weekend for the unexpected while we are actively in the midst of the ordinary.
God, you are the God of surprises -- both great and small. Help keep our eyes open! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims