A well-known homiletician says the most important part of the sermon is the first paragraph; within a few lines people decide whether to keep listening or check out. So this sermon begins with maybe the best/worst first paragraph ever. Exodus ends in Galatians: "For freedom Christ has set us free!" We read selections from Galatians 5 -- see the photos below.
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Here was our communion devotion for the service with Exodus 16. Wowie kazowie.
Tonight we skipped ahead in our story, reading all of Exodus 16. "Freedom from Pharaoh's economy" was our theme. We made pillows. You'll see why.
We're making progress through the Exodus story, and landed here on Mount Horeb with Moses and that spontaneously combusting-but-not-consumed shrubbery. We read Exodus 3:1–4:5, then sang the strangest song I've ever had the pleasure of yelping along with in worship. Then a sermon about the ineffable Deity we like to call God.
Listen to the strange and perfect song here.
Continuing our reading of Exodus, we took a chunk from the latter half of chapter 2 (verses 11-25), a piece of the story not often told. Moses is a confused adult, driven to rage and exile by his identity crisis. Hebrew? Egyptian? Who is he?
And who are these people he leaves behind, the suffering slaves that are Moses' biological kin? They have been "Hebrews" up to now, ethnically kin but fragmented from each other. By the end of the chapter, they will be "Israelites," one people united in suffering, heirs to the promise of God to their ancestors. How do they change from one to the other?
God promises us freedom from isolation and fragmentation. Pinky swear.
And now, Exodus. The prequel for Moses, 1:8–2:10. Before anybody says, "Let my people go," five women have to say, "Let this baby live." Can they do it? You bet your buttons. Our service was about "freedom from helplessness."
Tonight we started a new worship series, "For Freedom Christ Has Set Us Free: Stories from the Exodus." But we weren't quite ready to read Exodus. We started with a condensed version of the Genesis-to-Exodus narrative from Psalm 105. We read the whole darn thing, and so should you before you listen.
Also, we had a worksheet. Fun times. (One of those Hs should be a Z. Bonus points if you find it.)