Sermon August 23, 2020 “Kindness” by Rev. June Fothergill Exodus 1:8-2:10 Romans 12: 1-8    Once when Lowell was babysitting, his six-year-old grandson refused to eat anything set before him. In exasperation Lowell asked, “ Jonathan, you tell me you don’t like beef, you don’t like chicken, your don’t like fish, you don’t like fruit, you don’t like vegetables, you don’t like milk and you8 don’t like juice. Tell me, what do you like?”  Turning his innocent blue eyes on me he answered, “I like you, Grandpa.” (p. 152 An Encyclopedia of Humor, Lowell D. Streiker, ed.)    Such a kind word can go far, can it not?  I think that most of us would agree that treating others with kindness is a good idea.  We long for a more civil society and for less conflict and anger in our political discourse.  Yet, what if what is happening makes us angry? What if we feel strongly about different issues we face in society?  What do we do with those strong emotions?  Can we be kind and also be real?     In Romans 12  Paul suggests that we do not need to be conformed to this world but can be transformed by the “ renewing of your minds so that you may discern what is the will of God- what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (12:2)   So Paul thinks that we can figure this all out!   But then, before we get too self- assured, he adds in vs 3. “ For by the grace given to me, I say to everyone among you not to think of yourselves more highly than you out to think but to think with sober judgement each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”    I think what Paul telling his folks and us, is that we need each other.  I need that Facebook friend who has the opposite response to the political convention than I do.  We need the ones who challenge our thinking and help keep us humble. We learn how to be kind by listening to the needs and perspectives of those around us.  We learn God’s will by our willingness to be transformed by God through the process.      I think that the stories of the Hebrew women in Exodus 1 help us in this learning process. They show us women who are not just nice ladies, not just kind persons but also women who have the courage to resist oppression and evil.  Their stories give us a deeper understanding of what God calls us to do and be.       So, what was happening in Egypt?   The powerful – the king of...

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