Sunday September 24, 2017

This Sunday will be the last week with two separate services until mid-October.

On October 1st, at 11:00 a.m., we will have a combined service in the Sanctuary to share in World Communion  Sunday. There will be a potluck lunch following the service. Please bring a dish to share. At 1:30 p.m. registration will start at Island Park for the Crop Walk. The walk will start at 2:00 p.m. Our church is hosting a “cookie” station for the walkers. If you are willing to donate cookies (baked or bought), please leave them in the upstairs kitchen no later than Noon on Sunday!

On October 8th, at 11:00 a.m., we will once again gather in the sanctuary to hear Tom Erich share with us the findings from his interviews, surveys, and recommendations moving forward. 

This Week’s Scripture Passage:

Exodus 3:1-15 (CEB)

Moses at the burning bush

Moses was taking care of the flock for his father-in-law Jethro,[a]Midian’s priest. He led his flock out to the edge of the desert, and he came to God’s mountain called Horeb. The Lord’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was in flames, but it didn’t burn up. Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.

When the Lord saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

Moses said, “I’m here.”

Then the Lord said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” He continued, “I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites all live. Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me. I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them. 10 So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and to bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God said, “I’ll be with you. And this will show you that I’m the one who sent you. After you bring the people out of Egypt, you will come back here and worship God on this mountain.”

God’s special name

13 But Moses said to God, “If I now come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they are going to ask me, ‘What’s this God’s name?’ What am I supposed to say to them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am.[b] So say to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you.’” 15 God continued, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever; this is how all generations will remember me.

Something to Ponder:

The reluctant Hero:  a staple of so many stories in print or film from Katniss Everdeen to Han Solo, Frodo to Officer McClane and many, many more. They are usually someone with an unlikely or troubled background, someone with their own faults and weaknesses, and yet someone who overcomes all that to bring justice or remove a great evil adversary. They also may doubt continually whether they are up to the task before them.

It is not hard to see the similarities of the archetypal reluctant hero in Moses. There is a great challenge and evil to confront in the form of the enslavement of a whole people in Egypt. Moses has a complex back story which includes full knowledge of the people who are doing the enslaving, and furthermore he owes his own privileged life to those people. Moses also has personal challenges in that he doubts his own abilities. He cannot speak well, and fears this will get in the way of his ability to communicate God’s desire for his people’s freedom. It is no wonder that the story of Moses is a frequent portrayal on the big screen, it hits all the marks.

Music to help you prepare for worship :

Videos to help you prepare for worship:

A-Ordinary 22; Exodus 3:1-15 from Will Heyward on Vimeo.


Take Home Ideas:

Re-read today’s scripture when you get home. Moses was reluctant to follow God’s instructions: he felt ill-equipped for the task. Think of a time when you have felt unprepared.

Pray to God, giving thanks that even when we are reluctant we can find strength and help in unexpected places.

Commentary to Help Deepen Your Reading:

Click here to find written commentary to deepen your understanding of this week’s text or click here to listen to a podcast of commentary on this week’s text.