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11th Sunday after Pentecost


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Sermon Excerpt: Unsung Heroes, 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. 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 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.....

            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. 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. ..... Subscribers: click here for the full sermon manuscript.