God is holy. When God renews his covenant with Moses and his beloved children of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai, there is smoke on the mountain. When God speaks, there is fear in the hearts of God’s children. God’s holiness, his awesome distinctive other-ness, challenges the Israelites then and challenges us today.
He is completely other than us in purity and power, yet He calls us to be like Him--to be a holy nation. Is this possible? It is because God is also gracious--He provides the gracious power for us to be transformed into his likeness.
How will we learn to live into such distinctiveness? God gives us a blueprint, a set of holy living instructions. The Decalogue (Ten Words, 10 Commandments) shows us how to align ourselves with God’s truth and God’s priorities. Our relationship with God is paramount; our relationships with family members and neighbors also are important.
This Sunday we study Exodus 20 and the story of God’s law given to Moses at Sinai. We also will consider how Jesus interpreted the law in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Meditate on God’s grace and truth revealed in both testaments. Ponder how law and mercy fit together in God’s kingdom.
Our weekly Worship Guide can be downloaded by clicking the image below.
Notes on our Worship Space:
Having just completed our summer study of how the practices of worship shape us, it is good to remember, too, that what we display in our worship space reveals what we care about and what constitutes our identity as followers of Jesus.
The Cross, the Font, the Table, the Book
As we explore what it means to be the people of God, we have positioned these four symbols prominently to remind us of God’s faithfulness and where we find life, hope and our identity. The cross speaks of Jesus’ atoning death, the Font speaks of the new life he gives us through baptism, the Table speaks of our resurrected Savior who continues to gather us around his table of grace, and the Bible speaks of our source of authority and comfort as God speaks through his living word even today.
The 10 banners hanging in the sanctuary represent the messages in our series on Exodus. It is not just the spoken word but the creative, visual word that tells us of God’s love and faithfulness. See if you can guess which banner goes with which story! Many thanks to the team of Third artists who put them together: Mark Sprinkle, Holly Smith, Kathy Ames and Sarah Hale.
1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
For an overview of the Preparing a People sermon series, click HERE.