Psalm 68:4-11 (NIV)

4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,

    extol him who rides on the clouds;

    rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.

5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,

    is God in his holy dwelling.

6 God sets the lonely in families,

    he leads out the prisoners with singing;

    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

7 When you, God, went out before your people,

    when you marched through the wilderness,

8 the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,

    before God, the One of Sinai,

    before God, the God of Israel.

9 You gave abundant showers, O God;

    you refreshed your weary inheritance.

10 Your people settled in it,

    and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.

11 The Lord announces the word,

    and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.

Psalm 68 is a song of praise to God who is the source of familial belonging, who liberates by trading bondage for joy, who refreshes the weary, and who is the great Provider.

And great are the women who preach the good news about that God!

Despite the fact that most English translations obscure the gender of the proclaimers in Ps. 68:11, the proclaimers are women (good job, NIV!).

The Hebrew verb in Ps. 68:11 for “proclaim” can also be translated as “to bear tidings.” The women are bearing good tidings, they are amplifying the word of the Lord, and they are proclaiming with power.

So much for the assumption that there are no women preachers in the Bible. Here we even find a “mighty throng” of them in the Old Testament!

On Christmas Eve we often find ourselves gathering for candlelight services. As we light our candles, we imagine the scenes that played out the night of Jesus’ birth—one of which is of the shepherds who were startled by the angel.

But the angel tells the shepherds that the Savior, the Messiah brings tidings of joy, not fear. And the heavenly host of angels appears proclaiming peace and goodwill to all (Luke 2:8-14).

They sing of the same goodness of God that Psalm 68 attests, and which is the proclamation of the mighty throng of women preachers.

As you celebrate the Savior’s birth this Christmas Eve, may the host of women preachers in Psalm 68 remind you…

Jesus is the source of familial belonging for every person regardless of gender;

Jesus liberates women by trading their bondage for freedom and joy;

Jesus refreshes women who are weary of being regarded as second-class;

And Jesus is the great Provider of peace and goodwill for women preachers, singers, teachers, leaders, believers, and Christ-followers everywhere.

Meredith Stone is Executive Director of Baptist Women in Ministry.

This blog series made possible in part by a gift from Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC.

If you or your congregation is also using Year W this liturgical year, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at Further resources and online conversation about using the Year W lectionary can also be found at Wilda Gafney’s website: