Remaining faithful to a difficult boss, a selfish friend, or a wavering spouse is the exception to the rule in our culture today. Not so in God's culture. Let's take a look at His response to an unfaithful people in the book of Exodus.Read More
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On the very day of the Lord’s passover, Israel was saved from her slavery. It was a night of deliverance not to be forgotten. And for generations upon generations, the Israelites celebrated each Passover as a way to remember God’s promise of protection and as a reminder of where they came from so that they would never forget how they got out Egypt, Mitzrayim, out of the narrow straits, and into the wide and spacious land promised so many years before.
It was a day so profound — so unlike anything the world had ever seen before — that even the calendar would be re-written, and the years would be marked from this moment onward. A new hope is about to burst on the scene.
History is about to start over and a new age is about to begin.
Evil will be used for good, mourning will turn into laughing, sadness into surpassing joy. Injustices will be righted. Equity will be established. Righteousness will reign.
Because God has come down.
This is what the Exodus offers as hope for a different future.
What does it mean to be great? Is it something based on achievements? Meaning, becoming rich? Well liked? Well known? What if I told you that the key is associated more with words like embarrassed, weak, and rejected? Let's see how this applied to Moses in our passage in Exodus.Read More
Sometimes we build up the courage to dare greatly, putting ourselves out there and bravely going where we have not gone before, but the ending is not what we hoped for. What happens next? When God invites us to step forward courageously, does he promise a happy ending?Read More
It’s a pretty good story. A baby born under a death sentence becomes a prince of Egypt…becomes a Hebrew Batman bringing vigilante justice…becomes an exile…becomes a hero…becomes a shepherd.
Something interesting stands out to me about Exodus 2. For 22 verses, we read the incredible, you-can’t-make-this-up-if-you-tried story of Moses’ life…and at no point in the story do we read single reference to God. Not once.
I wonder if Moses ever sat on a hillside and asked the questions that we ask: How did I end up here? Is all of this random? Chance? Luck? Does it mean anything? I wonder if Moses ever took stock of his life, looked towards heaven, and asked, “Why did all of this happen? Why has the road been so crooked? Why didn’t you show up more?”
But when I read Exodus 2, the text starts to ask me a question, “What if God did show up? What if He shows up all the time...but I just miss him? What if HE is moving, but I don’t see him?”Read More
The Hebrew word for "Egypt" in Exodus is Mitzrayim, meaning narrow straights. The same place known to the ancient world as verdant, majestic, a center of culture and progress, this place was remembered by Israel as a place of suffocating limitations, a place of oppression.
Egypt had been a place of great promise for the Israelites, when Joseph rose to power long ago. And it served them well as a home for generations, and became a place of growth and fruitfulness. But in time, it became Mitzrayim, narrow and constricting.
How often is this pattern seen in our lives? The very land of promise, the fledgling relationship, the acceptance to that prestigious school, that perfect home: at first, it felt like freedom, like promise. It felt like a joy and calling so substantial that you could unpack your bags and live forever in it, burn the ships, make a home in that new opportunity, that new life. And then that verdant delta, that source of new life, starts ever so slightly closing in on you. With every new disagreement, with every new impossible assignment, with every new spike in property taxes and every new unexpected repair, the broad acreage of your joy becomes your Mitzrayim, narrower and narrower with each added demand, and what gave you hope and happy thoughts now steals your sleep and takes up far too much square footage in your daily thoughts.Read More
There are a bazillion things, a bazillion times a day competing for our attention. Some of us are close to burning out or burning up, trying to keep up. Others of us find ourselves stuck in the rut of routine, managing boredom. Do we notice the burning bushes that God places in our paths?Read More
Whether it’s an external or internal front, most of us work really hard to hide our real selves behind some kind of projected persona. We’re not all that different from the biblical character Jacob, who is the main player in the start of our new sermon series, "Out of Egypt: Liberation from Life's Narrows."Read More
Every Easter, year in, year out, so many of us come to church, and we shout, “Christ is risen!” And lots of us, we believe that. But others of us, we hear that, and we think…that’s a nice tradition. It’s a quaint story, perhaps. But we haven’t really ever seen that, heard that, experienced that, someone rising from the dead.
Some things just have to be seen, heard, felt - experienced - to be believed.Read More
You are likely, like me, where you are today because somewhere along the way, someone showed up for you when you needed them to. For whatever reason, theirs was the voice you needed to hear, or they were the friend you needed by your side. Let's take a look at Christ's final command before ascending to heaven, with this in mind.Read More