Have you ever thought something to be improbable, maybe even impossible, only to later discover it was true? In the early to mid seventeenth century, swans were only believed to be white; a black swan was an impossibility. So, the term black swan was used to describe something far-fetched or ridiculous, something that didn’t exist. Then, later in the seventeenth century, black swans were discovered in Western Australia. Now, the term black swan is used to describe something thought to be far-fetched or ridiculous, to not exist, but it is reality.
At one time, and unfortunately it’s still prevalent in some circles today, the role of women functioning in the Church, particularly in any form of leadership, was considered far-fetched. In may ways, it didn’t exist. Women weren’t allowed to speak, let alone function in any kind of leadership role. All from a passage of scripture that has been taken out of context for centuries. However, women, sisters in Christ, carry the same authority that men, or brothers in Christ, do. Women and men have the same responsibility to share Christ. They are equal in this regard. This is the reality. Women functioning in ministry, in the Church, is a black swan today – thought far-fetched, but existing in reality.
We can even back this thought up a little, zoom out. In many ways, the Church functioning under the direct Headship of Christ alone is considered far-fetched, it doesn’t exist. Just look at the myriad of denominations in the world, the multitude of clergy, the mantra of Christian leadership. We train leaders to lead our churches and do the administering of Life for us. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift…And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ…” (Ephesians 4:7-12) In other words, any “leader” isn’t really to lead, but to equip the saints to do the work of administering Life – to the Lord and to one another – to the building up of the body of Christ. It’s His Church, He’s the leader. He’s the head. He’s the LORD! Therefore, the Church functioning under the direct Headship of Christ is a black swan – thought to be far-fetched and nonexistent, but She exists and functions in reality.
These are just two examples of many, many black swans regarding Christ and His Church. He exists and lives today. His Church, His Bride, His Body, His House, His Family, exists and lives today by His Life.
My wife has a black swan tattoo on her left wrist. She got it to commemorate the many black swans the Lord has brought her through over the past few years. Recently, I got a black swan pipe. 🙂 I saw these a couple of years ago and wanted one then, but they were way too expensive. They are considered a “dress pipe”, all black and fancy. However, I found this one listed as an estate pipe (pre-owned, used), and it was half the cost of the cheapest new one I could ever find. I snatched it up as quickly as I could.
I wanted to stand in solidarity with my wife and with the Lord. Though many in the institutional church system consider allowing Christ to run His Church far-fetched and improbable, if not impossible, I know that She exists. She functions in both the spiritual and natural realities. She’s rare, yes, but She’s out there. And She’s waiting to be discovered by anyone brave enough, desperate enough, crazy enough to look for Her. She is indeed, a beautiful black swan.