Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation Online Service
September 13, 2020
Our service today explores a well known story from the Scriptures known as the Exodus Journey. Let us start with verse 15 which reads “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.”
Imagine, O child of God, if you can, that triumphal march! The excited children restrained from shouts of wonder by the hush of their parents; the most uncontrollable excitement of the women as they found themselves suddenly saved from a fate worse than death; while the men followed or accompanied them ashamed or confounded that they had ever mistrusted God or murmured against Moses; and as you see those mighty walls of water parted by the outstretched hand of the Eternal, in response to the FAITH of a single man, learn what God will do for His own!!
Call to Worship – “The Exodus Song” sung by Pat Boone
Prayer for Peace
We lift up prayers for peace. The need is great for peace within ourselves, between people, between the nations of the world and even for the planet itself. We struggle to find the words and phrases to describe the needs; peace for our troubled world is so often difficult to even imagine. We pray knowing that Jesus intercedes on our behalf with words that we cannot express.
We also know that you expect us to express our prayers for peace in both words and action. Give us the insight to recognize opportunities for action. Inspire in us the courage to act, to go forward.
The peace of Christ, the assurance of your steadfast love, is our hope and desire. We trust in that reality in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Ministry of Music – “The Prayer” sung by Rhema Marvanne
God calls to us all the time, our sins are forgiven, and we are asked to move forward into action. Consider your response to these questions in the next few moments of silence.
Are you risking anything for God?
Is there an area in your life where you could take a risk and step out in faith?
Morning Message – “From Fear to Faith” by Elder Jim Deering
If we explore the book of Exodus we will see in great detail how God, with the help of Moses, led the Jews out of Egypt. Like almost all of the Bible’s stories, there are many layers to this saga. It has much to teach us about what God wants for us and what God expects of us. As the story has spoken in the past, it speaks clearly to us today as we seek our spiritual home.
Of all the lessons it contains, it occurs to me today that we should take the time to reflect on our own exodus. We should pause to reflect on our own journey “home.” Each of us has our own definition of what that word means. Some would name the town they grew up in while others could pick the place they have lived the longest. Still others might choose where their happiest memories reside.
The people of Abraham’s lineage always chose the land they believe God gave them. From this belief, we receive the story from the Bible and the Torah of their flight out of Egypt, led by Moses toward the “Promised Land.” For them, home was one very significant land, a place that was to be theirs here on earth.
An argument can be made by those of us who accept Jesus as our savior; that our true “home” will be in heaven, with God. Our exodus story may just be the story of our journey to understand our relationship with God and our purpose in life.
I have found that fear can be a major force in finding meaning and purpose. In most respects it was fear, or lack of faith that kept the Israelites in the desert so many years. It is in moving from fear towards faith that we uncover meaning. As we endeavor to live our lives through what may be strange times, let us focus on the blessings of life and give less emphasis on the fear we feel. Let us read the scriptures and expand our understanding. Let us choose faith instead of fear on our Exodus journey.
Meditation Moment – “One Pair of Hands” sung by Carroll Roberson
Disciples’ Generous Response
Just like hearing prayers or scriptures each week helps strengthen our spiritual formation practices as a disciple, the Disciples’ Generous Response has a cumulative effect. We grow as faithful stewards through the weekly opportunity to reflect and consider what we have received and how we will respond.
As you share your mission tithes or if you give regularly through eTithing, use this time to express gratitude for God’s many gifts in your life and to reflect on how we respond faithfully to those blessings. When we understand God’s love and grace are given freely to us, we respond out of gratitude and are liberated to share freely in return.
Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, “Go on.”
And His hand will lead you through … clear through …
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod
In the path that your Lord will make.
In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.
This service was prepared by Carolyn and Jim Deering.