Collect for Sunday, August 23
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Readings for today can be found here.
Rev. Bambi Willis, Bruce Adkins, and Barry Holliday have coordinated our service for this morning. The service can be found here: https://youtu.be/Oa5bq0y8G1A
We will be doing Rite II and you can follow along starting on page 355 in the Book of Common Prayer. The of Common Prayer (BCP) can be found here. The Psalm for this morning is Psalm 124 found on page 781 in the BCP. The readings are Exodus 1:8-2:10; Romans 12:1-8; and Matthew 16:13-20.
A Meditation for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
In our Old Testament reading from Exodus, we hear how the Pharaoh of Egypt feels threatened by the Israelites. The population of the Israelites is growing and the Pharaoh worries the Israelites might turn against their Egyptian overlords.
So the Pharaoh tells the Hebrew midwives to kill all Hebrew male babies. The midwives do not do as Pharaoh asks, instead claiming that the Hebrew women deliver before the midwives can attend to the birth. So then Pharaoh commands all male Hebrew children be thrown into the Nile.
A male child is born and his mother hides him until he is three months old. When she could hide him no longer she puts him in a basket and places the basket in the reeds of the Nile River. The child is discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh who takes pity on him and adopts him as her own son. The daughter of Pharaoh names the child Moses because “I drew him out of the water.”
Now Moses will grow up to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, across the Red Sea, telling Pharaoh to “let my people go.” Moses begins life in his world precariously, much like Jesus will thousands of yeas later when King Herod slaughters all the children of Bethlehem when Herod learns the king of the Jews has been born. Jesus’ family escapes to Egypt and is spared.
By God’s providence, Moses is drawn out of the river and Moses grows to be a leader of his people. Moses does not live to see the promised land and once God’s people do enter the promised land, God then leads them into and out of exile. God leads God’s people on a journey that is neither easy nor predictable.
But God’s people keep going until we hear in our gospel reading this morning that: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Not even hell will undo the good purposes of God.
I, like you, wonder when we might re-gather in church. I, like you, wonder when we might have a vaccine. I, like you, wonder how those who are sick or lost jobs or lost loved ones will find their way. I, like you, wonder every morning, what will happen today?
Our sacred story is the story of God saving God’s people over and over and over again. We are a part of that story. We will not be the last people in this story to wonder if God will save us. God has saved us and God will save us. God will not necessarily save us the way we would like but God will save us now and forever.
Please remember all those on our prayer list this week found here or in the Good News Daily found here.
Rev. Bambi Willis
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Sermon from the Bishop's Chapel
The Rev. Sean Cavanaugh
Chaplain, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, Alexandria
There is no written version available this week.
The YouTube version can be found here.