Seeds Week 4 Moses and God’s Name Exodus 1:8-14; 1:14-2:10; 3:1-15

Moses and God’s Name: God of enslaved/hidden/aunties  Exodus 1:8-14; 1:14-2:10; 3:1-15, Mark 12:26-27, Psalm 135

More Narrative Lectionary Resources here

Image result for moses story art

Art found at https://www.icollector.com/Marc-Chagall-The-Story-of-the-Exodus-Pharaoh-s-Daughter-and-Moses_i12151433

Call to Worship:

Living God, light a fire in our hearts today 

Teach us to see how you burn within us, without consuming us

You are still the God of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel, the God of Isaac and Rebecca.

Remind us of your presence today and everyday

Call to Worship

God you call so many to you; pharoh’s sons and daughters, slaves, even suffering children

Grant us strength that we can recognize your call

You are the God of the whole adoptive family, the kids we grow up with, the friends that are the closest to us, the aunties and uncles who mentor us.

Continue to be our God, today and everyday

Call to Worship

O house of Israel, bless the Lord!

O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!

O house of Levi, bless the Lord!

You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord!

Blessed be the Lord from Zion, he who resides in Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord, for we are in the House of God!

Call to Confession: When we come into the presence of God, we want to do so with an open heart. To do so, we confess and lay before God all that we have been carrying, so we might see the face of God upon our journey.

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that too often we recognize holy ground too late to take off our shoes. We look back on ordinary times of comfort and companionship. We expect burning bushes, and forget that God is present when we hold the hand of a loved one or take care of a baby in need. Help us to recognize that you are the I am, the God of presence, and to find those moments of holiness together.

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we too often pay attention to the pharaohs in power instead of the babies in turmoil. We confess that we have trouble seeing the midwives who are at work to save the world. Yet the Bible names Shiphrah and Puah, and not the Pharaoh, so we know whose deeds are important. Help us to name ourselves int eh service of God we pray.

Assurance of Pardon: Remember, our God lives, and is always breathing grace upon us, so we can proclaim the truth.  In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Eucharist Prayer: God you are the Great I am, present in the bread and the cup, in the hands of all those who bring forth life. You called Shiphrah and Puah and Miriam and the Pharaoh’s daughter to foster Moses. You lit the fire in their hearts, and when the time was ready, you let Moses in on the holiness. Extend that holy, fiery presence of the Spirit here on these elements, we pray. That we might remember that your true goal is love and freedom for all your people, and that you desire us all to be nourished together. We pray this is your most Holy Lord Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Lord, help us to recognize ourselves in the story of Moses, as the people of God. Send us forth to do the nurturing and freeing work you proscribe. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Hymns:

Go Down Moses

Here I Am Lord

Lord I Wanna Be a Christian in My Heart

Live Into Hope

God of Our Life

With Children: Take Off Shoes and Pray together, Talk about the meanings of Yhwh and Kids names, Prince of Egypt is always fun, Bless People By Name, Who Am I (to be called by God) have the children name each other’s gifts, Talk about Harriet Tubman and Moses as freedom fighters

More Narrative Lectionary Resources here

#rejectedsermontitles #wrongquestionMoses

Moses Asks: Who am I to do all this

God says: I am with you, You are on Holy Ground.

Because God makes Holy Ground to be where God and humanity meet. That is what makes things Holy.

Moses: Who are you then?

God: I am who I am<–God the one and only, often imitated, never duplicated……the living God

Moses: You don’t have a name?

God: I am the God of all things, I don’t need one name, you can name me

Mark 12:26-27a
26And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? 27He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.’

Exodus 1:8-14, 3:1-15
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9He said to his people, ‘Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. 10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’ 11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labour. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. 12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. 13The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, 14and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labour. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.
3Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 5Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ 6He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’ 11But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ 12He said, ‘I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.’
13 But Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you”, and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ 14God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’* He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.” ’ 15God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The Lord,* the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”:

Moses: Experiencing God (part II)

Part !

Ultimately God is relational, and our experience of God is relational….that’s why we need to know

However, what is hard is some people haven’t ever had that burning bush experience…I haven’t been in that place before, but I know that some people haven’t experienced God.

What I do know is that when I talk to people about experiencing/knowing God that when they try to UNDERSTAND who God is, that is the wrong way to go about things.

I don’t know about you but I personally live with four other beings, none of whom I will fully understand (and its more than the fact that I’m a female living with four males), having a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that you fully understand them. Also, I know that relationships are different with different people….

Every time a read a parenting blog or article about the “right way” to raise every child I think how can this be? Different children raised by the same parents turn out differently, even I know I parent my three child in different ways. I relate to each of them differently. God similarly relates to each of us in a different way.

That is why we need a faith community, because none of us can have a full experience of God…well…if your like me, then not more than for an nanosecond. I love those moments of experiencing God. Madeline L’engle describes some of those moments as when you are looking at the stars (her parents used to wake her up to stargaze and its a big part of her writing).

You can envision Abraham having that moment….looking at the stars with God, filling the fullness of God’s will and purpose. Having it for a moment, and then continuing (since we can’t hold the fulness of God all the time)  through a relationship.

What I do know, is that experiencing God is relational, not rational, that we cannot fully know God by ourselves, and that this is why we are relational with both God and each other. Thus we better know God through all of our relationships–with God and each other.

That is why we are in community, because we don’t all have the same experience of God. We are together, not to tell each other that the only way to experience and know God is the way that works for us! (Did you know that you shouldn’t like ALL of worship, ideally different people like different parts, because its not all for one person, its for a diverse group of people so different people can experience worship during different parts of the service)

The point of the variety is so that we can share, experience and relate to God differently and (in the best of times) simultaneously. I don’t know what to do if you haven’t experienced God, but I do know, that your best bet is a faith community…Because we can’t experience God alone, we can only believe in God…alone…..

 

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivitesand Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

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

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.

16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ –Exodus 3:7-17

 

Moses– still a human being….(Part I)

Names are important, Before this moment, God was known as the God of Abraham (and Isaac, and Sarah!)

The God who promises the stars to Abraham….

But here is Moses, In Midian, encountering God. Having the Burning bush experience, starting his relationship with God. Where just seeing God’s magnificence isn’t enough, being the God

Most of us would LOVE this moment: this compelling, overwhelming, this is where it ALL begins.  But Moses, dares to ask questions…why? I think its because he is a human. A human being who was made to name things, a human being who needs to know…

And Moses has an identity crises. A human-what-is-the-meaning-of-my-life-and-who-am-I-anyway Identity crises. Moses, who has been living in Midian, after being born a Hebrew slave and raised as an Egyptian Prince. No wonder he’s confused….he asks who Am I to do this?

So God replies….don’t worry your MY messenger, and I PROMISE I’ll be with you the whole way. Don’t Worry.

And here is where Moses is human, again, asking the next, logical question. Ok, then so who are you to come with me? Not, what’s your name…but “Who are you?”

(Just like Jacob asking how it is he could find God here?)

And God says “I Am, what I AM” This is at a time when most people, including the Egyptians, had different Gods for different things, but this God is claiming to be enough. Plus YWHW in Hebrew also has a future tone–I AM, WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE, what I WILL BE. Implying that God will be God, but in order to find out more, you need to sign up for….

(Here is a cute handy-dandy ref. chart to help us see the process of Call)

Part II to follow