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.
- Give one word to describe how it is with your soul.
- In pairs of 2 share about times when you have felt like there was no escape from the enemies or hardships in your life.
Scripture: Exodus 14:10-14,21-29 (CEB)
10As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14The Lordwill fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
Perhaps no other story from the Hebrew texts has the drama that Moses’ story has. The people are delivered in an epic scene from their slavery. Our own deliverance, however, might feel just as dramatic when we are in the midst of it. Sometimes the way ahead appears utterly blocked and we have no power or ability ourselves to overcome it. At these moments we are faced with a critical decision: do we return to slavery and servitude, or do we allow God to make a way out of no way?
- What is a word or a phrase or an image that comes to your mind when you read or hear the text?
- What was the Israelites biggest obstacle in this narrative?
- How could the children of Israel escape from the situation they were in?
- What are some of the enemies or hardships that surround us today that keep us from moving forward?
- 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 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.