After the death of Joseph, there arose a Pharaoh in Egypt who did not know Joseph. Showing fear of the Israelites’ increasing numbers, Pharaoh commanded his officers to deal shrewdly with the Israelites, since they could multiply, fight against them, overwhelm them, and escape their slavery. The Egyptians set taskmasters over them to afflict them, forced labor with heavy burdens, and had them build great cities for Pharaoh. However, the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied, and spread abroad. So the Egyptians worked the Israelites hard, with bitter service and all kinds of work –in the foundry, in the fields, and all of it with ruthless cruelty.Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah to kill all male children of the Hebrews, but to let the daughters live. The midwives feared God, however, and did not do as Pharaoh commanded; they let the male babies live. The king called them to him and asked, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” They replied, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” Because of this, God dealt well and blessed the midwives and the people multiplied, and were very strong. The midwives were in a terrible position; they could either disobey Pharaoh and risk their own execution, or kill the babies and perhaps face God’s judgment. They “feared God” more than they did Pharaoh; they provided him with a shrewd answer that he would accept, although he would eventually seek to have his own people enforce his command. Still, God honored the wisdom and shrewdness of these two women who refused to give in to the mad command of the king of Egypt.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Father, you blessed and dwelt well with the midwives Shiphrah and Puah who protected the male babies of the Hebrew women alive, and gave good testimony before the king of Egypt. They were shrewd, they feared you, and refused the command of the king. Produce in us their strength, their shrewdness, and their heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!  In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.  Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.  I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
~ Psalm 31.19-22
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord, help us to fear you more than man, and to stand our ground in the evil day.