Sermon Notes: August 23, 2020
Rev. John Steitz
Exodus is a book of liberation. Israelite people slave bondage in Egypt. Freed. 40 years in the Wilderness. Become God’s people. Promised Land. God at center of the narrative. Moses as God’s agent.
Pharaoh fears the strength of the Israelites who might revolt during a war. Decides to eliminate them as a people. Infant boys to be killed by midwives at birth. Infant girls are to be raised to be slaves.
Two acts of Holy / Civil Disobedience.
First. The Hebrew midwives refuse to obey Pharaoh. Two – Shiphrah and Puah are called before Pharaoh to explain. The Hebrew women are stronger than Egyptian women.
Second. Pharaoh decrees that Hebrew infant boys are to be thrown into the Nile. Three women refuse to obey Pharaoh. They save infant Moses from drowning – his mother, his sister, and Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses adopted, not a slave.
Moses: “one who is drawn out.” Drawn out of the Nile waters. Through Moses God draws the Hebrew people out of slave bondage in Egypt.
Throughout the Hebrew Bible God is identified as the One who brought the people out of bondage in Egypt. The formation act of the people Israel.
The Exodus liberation story begins with acts of Holy Disobedience / Civil Disobedience. God works for liberation in oppressive situations. Moves people to disobey unjust realities.
Do I have the courage to refuse to obey unjust realities? Do I have the courage to refuse to cooperate with oppression?
Do I refuse to cooperate with homophobia and transphobia?
Do I refuse to cooperate with racism and white supremacy?
Do I refuse to cooperate with sexism and violence against women?
Do I refuse to cooperate with efforts to undermine the right of people to vote? (Not who I might vote for, but the democratic process of voting.)
These are questions of faith. These are questions of discipleship.
God calls us to liberation and to disobey unjust laws and oppression.