Opener: What, in your home, acts as a memento? Why is it special to you? What is the memory it points to and how do it represent that?
In this weeks sermon, Pastor Brennan unpacked the iconic 10 Commandments of Exodus from a few different perspectives.
As you open your Bible to Exodus 20, take a few minutes to chat about the word ‘law’. Have you ever had a brush with the law? Do you abide by the law? Do you find yourself reading or avoiding all the legal mumbo jumbo on your itunes account? What does law mean to you?
To belong, and to live in peace. These are basic longings for each of us. For the people of Israel, living in slavery and oppressed by violence in ancient Egypt, neither of these were realities.
Yet in the midst of their unreal persecution, there was a glimmer of hope. A delicate basket floating down the crocodile infested waters of the Nile River carried the precious cargo of hope, the baby Moses. His story, the unlikely rise to the position of deliver of the people of Israel had the fingerprints of God on it from the very beginning.
This story, crafted by God, is not just history though. Our journey through Exodus aims at exploring how this is also our story. It is our story because of what it tells us about the bondage we live in and who our true deliverer is, Christ Jesus.
Questions for Group Discussion:
The oppression recorded in the first chapter of Exodus is on a level which had simply not been seen in the Biblical record before. However, we can often easily read these passages as such distant history that we skip over the humanity of the people involved.
A flashlight is a very handy tool when the lights go out. With it, you can find your way safely in the dark. Yet when standing in the warm brilliance of the sunlight, the flashlight become completely unnecessary. If fact, one who chooses a flashlight over the sun would be considered… misguided.
That is exactly what we’re talking about this week. Through the first 5 chapters of the book of Romans, Paul lays our human hopes bare, pointing us to the truth. And this is the truth, that to live by faith leads to a sure hope and eternal community with God through Christ. Holding on to our hereditary past in Adam, is like saying that the flashlight is the best thing in existence. To turn, by faith, and follow Christ is even better than stepping into the shining brilliance of the noon day sun. It is stepping to the light of the eternal, one and only Son, Jesus!
Behold the Lamb of God - John 1:29
Looking at a man, in appearance like any other standing there, John points to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, come to take away the sin of the world.” I can only imagine the absolutely silence as this radically iconoclastic statement slammed into the crowd. A lamb in the form of a man? Human sacrifice was simply not practiced. He was a lamb provided by God himself? And even if the sacrifice is legit, it takes away the sin of more than just the Israelite people?
Jesus, consistently, completely, and often controversially, shatters our known world only to stoop down and reform the pieces into something of infinite, reflective beauty.
Listen to 3 stories of God preparing his people, preparing them through the use of reflective symbols, helping them to see that one day, they themselves.... we.... would be all about reflecting him!
Have you ever stopped to think about those sounds we make thousands of times a day, sounds to communicate, sounds laced with symbolism? What is a word… really? At the most basic level, words are symbols for ideas. We use a word to illicit an idea in someone else. When my wife asks me to pick up milk at the store, she says “milk” and I understand what she means. But the word for milk is different in every language, so the english word and the object are not a necessary link. I suppose she could say "우유 주세요," and if I spoke Korean I would still show up with milk. Yet when we begin communicating beyond the basics, there is always a risk of misunderstanding, because we almost always filter what we say and what we hear, through our emotions, past hurts, and ongoing struggles.
So when God speaks to us using words, words through which to know him, he left nothing up to subjective interpretation. The Word of God is not just a sound linked to an idea, the Word of God is a person… Jesus! Why does this matter to us today? Well, listen and find out!
Justice seems to be that unspoken essential in our pursuit of joy. We are all, actively, to the best of our ability, striving for something better in this life. Ultimately, this can be called joy or happiness. But what happens when some outside factor robs us of the ability to pursue joy? We call this injustice!
In Job’s speech to his friends, and to God, at the end of the first round of conversation, he gives us a clear window into his struggle for justice. He feels like he is suffering unjustly, and that if only God would see this then everything would turn out for Job.
In this message, Pastor Brennan explores the expectations for justice we place on ourselves, those around us, and ultimately God Himself… all in our pursuit of joy. Yet, what is the the joy we’re pursuing? Is it in fact the ultimate and only satisfying joy, Jesus?
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