Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon Idea Number - 12 -

Suggested Titles:

Foreign Women Who Worship
One woman speaks so well.
The Woman who welcomed Worship
How to confess our faith

Passage:

Joshua 2

Passage Overview – some highlights:

The story of Rahab is perhaps a familiar one, so it won’t be important to review it in detail here. Instead, note specific concepts below.

Important Specific Concepts:

It is very important in this story that (1) and woman and (2) a foreign woman knows how to speak correctly about God.

The “confession of faith” of Rahab beginning at verse 8 and with important expression at verse 11 is very important. Rahab becomes acceptable as a person of faith because of her “confession” – her “testimony” if you will about who God is. (See sermon on Exodus 1 for other uniquely confessional women.)

Time could be spent focusing on what Rahab says, including: she recognizes God’s activity in past events like the Red Sea, she recognizes how other enemies can’t stop God’s activity in the world, she “names” God as God of Heaven and Earth and not just some tribal or local deity, and she also recognizes that there might be opportunity for “being spared” by these people and this God.

Rahab, in many ways was a “marginal” character in her society – possibly a prostitute (the Hebrew might mean this, it might not) but she lived “on the wall” and clearly was not “in the heart of her city.” This marginalized, “walled” women speaks a word of testimony that changes her immediate future (see Sermon on Joshua 6) and the future of Israel (see Matthew 1, the genealogy of Jesus.)

Ideas for Illustrations:

Mother Teresa was a “foreign” women with a great confession of faith in a marginalized area of India.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “confession of faith” about God’s grace for African slaves during the American slave trade – her willingness to write books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Ideas for Wrapping Up - Response - Call:

A call for us to be people who, like Rahab, confess who God is.A call for us to, like the Israelites, accept the confession of “others” as truthful about who God, welcoming them as members of our faith community.

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