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Women's World Day of Prayer

Written by Rev. Susan Valiquette
March 31, 2008

 

Susan Valiquette - South Africa

ImageThe women of Bethel Congregational Church joined with other women in their area as well as around the world to celebrate Women's World Day of Prayer. The theme for this year was God's Wisdom Provides New Understanding based on readings from Job 28: 20 - 28 and Luke 10: 38 - 42.  The service was prepared by the women of Guyana.  The women of Bethel educated the congregation about the people of Guyana and their country. 

The following is excerpt from the sermon I preached.

Job, a righteous man suffers.  He can not understand why he suffers so he seeks God.  Job cannot understand God's ways or the world's.  Only God can completely understand both. 

Job speaks directly to our lives.  We suffer, our families suffer, our communities suffer, our country suffers, the world suffers and we do not understand the darkness in which we live.  So we seek God-God's wisdom provides some new understanding.

  • We can not understand why good law abiding citizens are carjacked.
  • We can not explain why a family member was in a car accident and badly injured when he was driving responsibly. 
  • We can not fathom how someone can rape another.
  • We can not comprehend how an innocent and naïve child can be beaten.
  • We do not know how to make sense out of natural disasters that sweep away entire villages of people.
  • We can not comprehend the mind of a suicide bomber. 
  • We can not explain why a child must suffer the consequences of her parent and become HIV+. 

We, like Job, loath our lives and circumstances.

Where do we turn in suffering?  Who will answer our questions?  Who will calm our spirits?  Who will bring peace? 

It is only through God's Wisdom that we are comforted.  We learn to accept our circumstances and shun the ways of the world.  We learn that it is for us to put our complete faith and trust in God alone. 

The wisdom of the World says:

The wisdom of God says:

You can never be healed

With God all things are possible

Look out for # 1

If you love me, Feed My Sheep

Make as much money as you can

Give away all your possessions and follow me

Gain power and money for yourself.  Accumulate as much as you can

Just as you do it to the least of these, you do it to me

We will take revenge on you

Forgive 70 X 7

Take up arms and weapons, defend yourself

I come to bring you peace

Defeat your enemies

Pray for your enemies and those who persecute you

You will pay for your sins

I forgive you your sins, accept me and receive the promise of eternal life

The world gives up on you and deems you useless

I rejoice that my sheep that was lost is now found

Death has the final say

I am the resurrection and the life

God's wisdom is unconventional.  We don't even fully understand it ourselves, but we trust God. 

We yearn for wisdom so we like Mary, sit at the feet of Jesus to learn. 

We do not lose hope; we are not defeated in our suffering. 

II Cor 4:8-9 reminds us that we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our bodies. 

We are women.
We are women of hope
We are women of God.
We are women of Jesus.
We are women of prayer.
And we trust God's Wisdom.

Rev. Susan Valiquette
Missionary serving at the Inanda Seminary, Mission High School for Black African Girls, A church school of the UCCSA Durban, South Africa

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