Grace UMC prepares for Sunday worship by reading the scripture for the coming Sunday’s sermon. Below, you fill find questions that can be used for Bible Study, small groups or personal devotion. Let the scripture speak into your life! Expect great things!
you have an uncomfortable habit of showing up where we least expect you: in a burning bush, in the face of an enemy, in a livestock feed trough, on a rough wooden cross.
Turn our lives upside down with your radical love.
Help us fully embrace your surprises, even as we revel in the joy of being fully embraced by your all-encompassing grace and mercy.
We pray in the name of your most amazing surprise of all: your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Give a word to describe how it is with your soul today?
- In pairs, tell a story of when you felt God urging you to speak on behalf of person group that is being mistreated or when God called someone else to speak on your behalf?
Scripture 1: Exodus 3:1-14 (Common English Bible)
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. 2 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. 3 Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.
4 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.”
5 Then the Lord said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” 6 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.
7 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. 8 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. 9 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.”
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.’”
Scripture 2: Exodus 4:1-12 (Common English Bible)
Then Moses replied, “But what if they don’t believe me or pay attention to me? They might say to me, ‘The Lord didn’t appear to you!’”
2 The Lord said to him, “What’s that in your hand?”
Moses replied, “A shepherd’s rod.”
3 The Lord said, “Throw it down on the ground.” So Moses threw it on the ground, and it turned into a snake. Moses jumped back from it. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out and grab the snake by the tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a rod in his hand. 5 “Do this so that they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God has in fact appeared to you.”
6 Again, the Lord said to Moses, “Put your hand inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took his hand out, his hand had a skin disease flaky like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand back inside his coat. When he took it back out again, the skin of his hand had returned to normal. 8 “If they won’t believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second sign. 9 If they won’t believe even these two signs or pay attention to you, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on dry ground. The water that you take from the Nile will turn into blood on the dry ground.”
10 But Moses said to the Lord, “My Lord, I’ve never been able to speak well, not yesterday, not the day before, and certainly not now since you’ve been talking to your servant. I have a slow mouth and a thick tongue.”
11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who gives people the ability to speak? Who’s responsible for making them unable to speak or hard of hearing, sighted or blind? Isn’t it I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I’ll help you speak, and I’ll teach you what you should say.”
God will use unlikely people and what may be the most inconvenient time of
their lives to save us and to save us from ourselves…God comes in to remove us from unjust situation and liberating us from oppressive situations.
- What is a word or a phrase or an image that comes to your mind when
you read or hear the text?
- How does this text speak to the ministry you feel called to as a member
of Grace UMC?
- When Moses is fearful and apprehensive about the call, how does God
assure Moses that he is the one for the job?
- What are some examples perhaps the 3 elements required to make a way
out of no way. Note : 1)God’s presentation of unforeseen possibilities,
2)human agency, 3) a desire to live.
- What does this scripture teach us about God? About Faith
God promised to be with Moses, and we are here to witness to the fulfillment of
that promise. From generation to generation, the God of Israel is also the God of (your community’s name). The God of the burning bush is waiting even now to encounter you, call you, challenge you, and change you. Go out to be sustained and surprised by the love of God. Amen.