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Sermon and Worship Resources
12th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon and Worship Resources

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 1:8-2:10
Psalm 124
Isaiah 51:1-6
Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20


 

This Week's Themes:

God's Work of Salvation Amidst Human Suffering
Dedication/Discipleship
Creed of Faith/Christology

 

Call To Worship (based on the Gospel lesson)
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

L: We greet you, O Christ, in our midst!
P: We welcome you, Light of true Light, Savior of the world.
L: All glory and honor and praise be unto the Prince of Peace who gave himself for the sake of God's own people.
P: Blessed be the One who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosannah in the Highest!
L: Come, let us worship the Lord!

 

Sermons:

 

Children's Messages:


 


Unsung Heroes of Faith
Exodus 1:8 – 2:10
Rev. Randy Quinn
         

I don’t know if you followed the story in 2002, but some women took over an oil terminal in Nigeria, demanding jobs for their husbands and sons.[1]  They were demanding that ChevronTexaco fulfill its promises to hire local workers and to provide schools, electricity, and water systems to their village – promises that seemed to have been forgotten by the oil company as soon as the terminal was put into service.

            The sad part of the story is that while the villagers had received nothing but empty promises from the multi-national corporation, the oil terminal itself was filled with what we would call modern amenities, including a medical clinic, a cafeteria, game rooms, and satellite TV.

            The ironic part of the story is that the name of the oil terminal is Escravos, from the Portuguese word for slave!

            The protesting women occupied the port for ten full days before oil company executives met with them and showed good faith efforts to fulfill their promises.  But they only came to Nigeria after the women threatened to “shame” the company by stripping naked on the docks.

            In a country where violence is commonplace, these women bravely and courageously used a non-violent protest to make change happen.

            Theirs is a common story in world history, though few of the people involved in those stories are known by name.  These same protestors were at Tiananmen Square in China.  They were in Selma, Alabama.  They stood alongside Gandhi in India.

            But they were in the Bible long before that.  Peter and Paul and Jesus did not resist arrest.  Nor did Daniel and his friends.  They waited for the power of God to change the world rather than using violent means to overcome the evil they saw.

            It’s easy to think that our story today is about Moses, but the real heroes are five women.  We don’t even know the names of all of these unsung heroes of faith.

            But their story is told in our text today.  Let’s stand as we hear their story.

Read Text

            If it were not for Shiphrah and Puah, this story would sound very much like the story of another baby born many years later – a baby whose very presence brought fear into the heart of a king; a king whose fear led to the intentional slaughter of innocent children (Mt 2:16).

            Our passage today is about the triumph of non-violence over violence, the triumph of right over wrong, the triumph of the weak over the strong, the triumph of slaves over their oppressors.  It is the triumph of God that sets the stage for a much larger triumph when Israel will be released from captivity and set free in the Promised Land.

            But for now, the children of Israel remain in Egypt.  They had come at the invitation of Joseph who promised to meet their needs and feed them (Gen 45:11; 47:1-6).  But that was many generations ago.

            The new leadership no longer remembered Joseph’s good deeds.  The new Pharaoh only saw a growing hoard of people who could shut down the entire economic base of his prosperity by staging a non-violent sit-in.  The new Pharaoh feared they might join with one of his adversaries and violently overrun Egypt.

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