Family of Hope House Church March 2011
Mandate to Pharaohs: “Let my people go”
February 11, 2011 will go down in history as the day ordinary Egyptian citizens successfully ousted a modern day Pharaoh, in a nonviolent revolution sparked by the recent successful uprising in Tunisia. It’s hard not to see this as a miraculous feat, given the kind of oppressive and dictatorial rule Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak successfully maintained in that country for over 30 years.
Which reminds me of the truly miraculous deliverance recorded in the Bible’s book of Exodus, one that took place in that same country over 3000 years before. The God of the universe, having heard the cries of the thousands of Hebrew slaves who labored there under brutal and harsh conditions, unleashed a series of disasters that finally led the Pharaoh to heed the words of Moses, God’s chosen liberator, “Let my people go!”
Since the beginning of time, the world’s Pharaohs, intent on maintaining power and adding to their lavish empires, have not given up their positions easily. But in the face of multitudes who manage to totally lose their fear and live only by their faith and hope, they can be rendered powerless. No amount of military might can stop them. God can either change the hearts of military leaders, as in the case of the 2/11 revolution, or can cause their chariots to mire down hopelessly as they pursue their subjects, as in the case of the 1290 BCE revolution.
What can we learn from this? Can we ask what might have happened to Iraq’s “Pharaoh” had we prayerfully partnered with the God of justice to bring him down, rather than through the violent means that have resulted in untold suffering and the loss of thousands of innocent lives? And dare we hope that the 2/11 event that happened recently in Egypt could set a precedent for similar liberations of a more peaceful kind?
Biblical “salvation” is clearly about more than just being delivered from this present world and transported to another. Scripture is full of examples of God’s people being saved from disasters, from want, from injustices and oppression, and from their enemies, including their powerful Pharaohs and Caesars.
And all of that without the use of violence to combat violence, a strategy that ignores the life and example of Jesus and only compounds the problem it is meant to address.
- Harvey Yoder
Notes, prayers and praises
* THE LENTEN SEASON, forty days of preparation for Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9.
* HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ruth Stauffer 3/28, and welcome back to the Stauffers as they return from their month in MDS service!
* TRISH LEVESQUE’s new address is 17600 14th Avenue North, Apt 127, Plymouth, MN 55447-2951.
* FAMILY OF HOPE’S NEW BLOG SITE has updated newsletters and other info at <http://familyofhopehousechurch.blogpost.com>. HARVEY’s blog is at <http://harvyoder.blogspot.com> with a link to the FOH site.
March Lectionary Readings:
2:6: Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9
2/13: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Psalm 32, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11
2/20: Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17
2/27: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 95, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42
March services worship at 4 pm, meal at 6
6 Location: Joyce Ulrich 1029 Shenandoah Street Apt 101 22802 246-1013
Worship and Sharing: James and Ruth Stauffer
Bible Study: “Speak to us From the Mountain” Harvey Yoder
13 Location: James and Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802 574-6141
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: “Deliver us in Times of Temptation” Paul Swarr
20 Location: Rachel Stoltzfus1359 TwoPenny Drive 22802 433-3983
Worship and Sharing:
Bible Study: “Grace us With Your Promises” Dick Dumas
27 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Drive, K’town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Margie and Guy Vlasits
Bible Study: “Grant us Your Living Water” James Stauffer