God Blesses our Labor
August 23, 2023

God Blesses Our Labor for the Lord

A Liturgy Based on Exodus 1:8-2:10

The Book of Exodus tells the incredible story of God's work to deliver the Israelites from bondage and to shape them into his people, a people through whom he would bless the world. It testifies to the work that God does for his people and in turn, God's good plan for our work. Each post of this 5 week series looks at familiar stories with an emphasis on praising God for what he has done!

Call to Worship

Reader 1: Come all of you who feel forgotten, desperate, or afraid.

All: We come into the presence of our Creator to whom we belong!

Reader 1 pours water into the baptismal font.

Reader 2: Come all who care for children, who labor for bread, or work for justice.

All: We come into the presence of our Lord who saves us!

Reader 2 lights the Christ candle.

Reader 3: Come all who long for a child, for dignity, or for respect.

All: We come into the presence of the Spirit who guides our way!

Reader 3 opens the Word of God and places it on the pulpit or communion table.

Prayers of the People

Holy God, Defender of the weak, Deliverer of the enslaved, the Dawn from on high, you remember your people, from the youngest to the oldest. Your works declare your faithfulness to all generations, from the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt to your people gathered in this place now.

We praise you for hearing the oppressed and protecting your children, and we lament our own indifference to the vulnerable among us. Open our eyes to how we benefit from unjust labor laws here and abroad, how we fail to care for children who are at-risk, and how we run through resources with little thought for what will be left for our children and grandchildren. Teach us to advocate for better.

May we be strengthened by your Spirit and guided by your Word.

We praise you for people like Shiphrah and Puah who risk their lives to do your kingdom work. We lift up today’s justice fighters: be with social workers and teachers, police officers and public defenders, victim’s advocates and judges, community health workers and fundraisers, pastors and physicians.

May they be strengthened by your Spirit and guided by your Word.

We praise you for drawing Moses out of the water to use him for your glory. As we too have been drawn from the waters of baptism, use us for your glory. Give us courage to speak the truth of your grace and mercy. Give us boldness in multiplying your blessings for others. Give us attentive ears and hearts to be with the oppressed.

May we be strengthened by your Spirit and guided by your Word.

Holy God, Defender, Deliverer, and our Dawn in the darkness, draw us ever closer to you that we might join in your work and praise you all of our days. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Sermon Notes: The Work of the Lord: Your Labor is Not in Vain - Exodus 1:8-2:10

The work of God is to side with the oppressed. While the enslaved Hebrews are forced to build an empire for an unnamed Pharaoh, the Lord makes use of two lowly women, Shiphrah and Puah, whose names are remembered because of their faithful work for the Lord. While it must have seemed like an incredibly dangerous and futile task to stand up to Pharaoh, their labor was not in vain because they labored for the Lord.

Suggested Songs

"Your Labor is Not in Vain" Kimbrough, Zach, and Wardell

"Egypt" Asbury

"He Is Able to Deliver Thee" Ogden

"Psalm 116 (I Love You Lord)" Langdon

"Great Things" Myrin and Wickham

Katy Matejka Kroondyk is a student at Western Theological Seminary and the Fitness Coordinator at Zeeland Recreation. She lives with her husband, Rev. Jeff Kroondyk, and their daughters, LillyAnn and Eliza, in Holland, MI.