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Sun, Sep 04, 2022

"More Than Enough"

Duration:14 mins 30 secs

More Than Enough. 

That was the theme for this year’s Montreat Youth Conference 

and it’s the theme we’re taking with us through the fall. 

I don’t want to steal our youth’s thunder, 

but I thought I could set up our year with a taste of the youth conference. 

This story is one that we touched on briefly at Montreat, 

but we didn’t get to spend as much time with this story as with others. 

Listen now, for the Word of God.

Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph.  
He said to his people,
“Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them,
or they will increase and, in the event of war,
join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,
one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
“When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women
and see them on the birthstool,
if it is a son, kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.”
But the midwives feared God;
they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them,
but they let the boys live.
So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them,
“Why have you done this and allowed the boys to live?”
The midwives said to Pharaoh,
“Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,
for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”  
So God dealt well with the midwives,
and the people multiplied and became very strong.
And because the midwives feared God, God gave them families. 

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks Be to God

Beloved Siblings in Christ, With God, 

You are more than enough. 

The heroes in our story today knew that with God, 

they were more than enough. 

Shiphrah and Puah were midwives. 

Midwives walk alongside, guide, 

and support parents through childbirth. 

Midwife is also defined as “a person or thing that produces 

or aids in producing something new” ( 

I know we’re all tired around here. 

I think we’ve got some transition fatigue 

and I’ve only been here three months 

so just the thought of producing something new feels overwhelming let alone 

trying to figure out how to do what we want to do 

like going back to something like a “regular” Sunday. 

But friends, 

none of us are the same people we were before March 2020. 

Too much has happened 

and not happened in the last 2.5 years 

for us to be the same. 

What do we do then? 

I wonder what happens if we pause for a moment 

and sit with the story of Shiphrah and Puah. 

These were two women who were called to be midwives. 

They helped in childbirth. 

They helped welcome new life into the world. 

Yet Pharaoh feared losing power 

to the growing Israelite population, 

so he called the midwives, 

Shiphrah and Puah to help him keep his power. 

Pharaoh orders the midwives to kill the boys. 

It was a patriarchal society 

therefore all power was with the men, 

political, economic and social power

It was all with men that’s why the daughters were allowed to live. 

With Pharaoh ordering his people to deal shrewdly 

with the Israelites, 

they must have started to feel like they were not enough. 

They were under attack 

and must have started to lose hope. 

Shiphrah and Puah probably at least considered 

following Pharaoh’s orders. 

He was “in charge” after all. 

Shiphrah and Puah realized who is more important. 

The midwives feared God. 

As many mainline protestants, 

we get a little hung up and antsy when we think about fearing God. But I invite you to remember the awesome power of God. 

This is God who, 

when Moses got the slightest glimpse of God, 

Moses glowed, 

radiated the light of God. 

God is SO powerful 

that if we get too close that power can kill us. 

God is a bit like a nuclear power, 

that is how awesomely powerful God is, 

Shiphrah and Puah get that awesome and terrifying power. 

God is greater than Pharaoh will ever be 

so they do not do as Pharaoh commands, 

but they do what they know in their heart to be right. 

With God, Shiphrah and Puah were more than enough. 

Shiphrah and Puah had gifts, 

they were midwives, 

but they were also clever and fierce 

because they stood up to Pharaoh both in keeping the babies alive AND used their knowledge to confound Pharaoh, 

“These Hebrew women, 

they’re just so vigorous and lively, 

that they give birth before we can get to them!” 

It sounds ridiculous to us, 

but what would Pharaoh know? 

In addition to being clever, fierce midwives. 

Shiphrah and Puah were so much more. 

They were humans, 

part of God’s beloved creation. 

They were caregivers to those they helped in childbirth 

as well as in their own families 

and with their neighbors. 

They were friends, daughters, 

and as the story tells us, 

they had families of their own. 

They are people just like us. 

Maybe we’re not midwives getting orders from Pharaoh, 

but we are children of God with God given gifts.

In Psalm 139, the Psalmist reminds us 

that God knit us together in our mother’s womb, 

God created us to be exactly who we are meant to be. 

As God knit us together, 

God gave us gifts and talents to use 

to build God’s kin-dom here. 

Friends, I know you are tired, 

but we can find small ways to use our gifts and talents. 

Ways for us to be honest about who we are right now 

and where we feel God is calling us, right now. 

I have good news, 

we can let go of who we think we’re 

“supposed to be” and

 “what we think church should look like” 

because if we can find ways to let go, 

God has so much more for us. 

Letting go is not easy in the least. 

But like… that’s REALLY HARD! 

Especially when what’s been means something to us. 

My parents are getting ready to sell the house 

that I’ve lived in since I was a month old. 

My head knows its time, 

that the house doesn’t make logical sense any longer. 

But my heart doesn’t like change. 

My heart is scared of change. 

My heart is sad to let go of a place 

that I’ve called home since I was a month old. 

It’s just a building and it’s time for a new family to call it home, 

but that doesn’t make letting go any easier. 

We’ve had to let go a lot here at MPC recently, 

but we also got a wonderful gift in having Pastor Lisa with us. 

I’m hopeful for what we can do together 

as the program year gets started 

as we let go of some things 

and welcome in new things or slightly different things 

To be the church God is calling us to be. 

Through it all friends, 

remember that you are more than enough with God. 

Please pray with me. 

Loving, God. 

We are tired. 

We are overwhelmed. 

We are feeling all kinds of things. 

But you sent us heroes like Shiphrah and Puah to help us turn to you. 

Help us fear you like Shiphrah and Puah did. 

Help us listen for you. 

Help us let go and make space 

for more than we can possibly imagine. 

In Jesus’ name. 


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