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!
In this moment, gracious God, you have called us away from the world to a place and a time where we can commune with you and with one another.
Hallow this communion, we pray.
Calm our anxious spirits, that we may be set apart to hear your word of truth through which we receive grace to bring about the obedience of faith.
Open us to the reality of your all-embracing love, both in this place and in the wider world.
May we, by our words and actions, be bearers of your kingdom, in the name and Spirit of the Christ. Amen.
- Share one word to describe how it is with your soul today.
- In pairs of 2 share the first time you entered into a covenant with someone. This covenant could have been a friendship, romantic or a business relationship. What was that experience like for you?
Scripture: Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17 (Common English Bible)
3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him from the mountain, “This is what you should say to Jacob’s household and declare to the Israelites: 4 You saw what I did to the Egyptians, and how I lifted you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to me. 5 So now, if you faithfully obey me and stay true to my covenant, you will be my most precious possession out of all the peoples, since the whole earth belongs to me. 6 You will be a kingdom of priests for me and a holy nation. These are the words you should say to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses came down, called together the people’s elders, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him.
20 Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3 You must have no other gods before[a] me.
4 Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5 Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the Lord your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. 6 But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.
8 Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. 9 Six days you may work and do all your tasks, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. 11 Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not kill.[c]
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
17 Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
In Exodus 19-20, the children of Israel prepared themselves for a new conditional relationship with God and the Mosaic covenant was introduced. When we examine their preparations, we gain a greater understanding of the purpose of the Law and the function of the Ten Commandments in the lives of Christians.
- What is a word or a phrase or an image that comes to your mind when you read or hear the text?
- Based upon what God is communicating to his Israelite children, what seems to be Israel’s biggest obstacle to overcome?
- Prior to giving the Israelite the 10 Commandment what does God communicate to them about the nature of their relationship to him?
- Which of the Ten Commandments do you find has been the hardest to consistently follow in your life and why?
- What does this scripture teach us about God? About Faith?
God of salvation, you rescued the Israelites at the edge of the Red Sea. Rescue us from the things of this world that threaten our lives and livelihoods, so that we might forever place our trust in you. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.