Getting Ready for Sunday, Feb. 2nd, at The Crossing

On Fridays we post a guide for how to prepare for the upcoming Sunday service. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage ahead of time, see the song list, and get your mind and heart ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

On Sunday Dave Cover will continue our series in Exodus with the sermon, “There’s Only One Messiah and It’s Not You” from Exodus 19. The Scripture reads,

1 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD.
9 The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.
10 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”
14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes.15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.
20 The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”
24 The LORD replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the LORD, or he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

The Bible often paints pictures to help us understand God by comparing him to things that we know: a father, a mother, a fortress. Yet at the same time, we often come face to face with how God is not like us, how he is unique, transcendent, and other. That’s how we and the Israelites encounter God in Exodus 19—he is majestic, transcendent, and not to be trifled with. As you get ready for Sunday, spend a few minutes thinking about how you think about God. Are you holding together in your heart, in your speech, in your actions, how God is close to us, like a dad, and simultaneously, wholly other and glorious?

Here’s our song list for this Sunday (with links to lyrics and music). We’re doing two new songs this week.

It is Finished” is by Dustin Kensrue, the same artist who wrote “Suffering Servant.” It’s a rousing song that celebrates how Christ has accomplished our salvation.

Speak, O Lord” is by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. It asks God to speak into our lives so that we may find encouragement and strength as he makes us like Christ. It’s a song that my wife and I sang often at church in England and really enjoy. It’s especially appropriate as we learn from Exodus 19 this week.

If you get a chance, listen to these songs ahead of time, so you’re more ready to sing them on Sunday.

One Redeemer [lyrics and listen] – words by David Cover and Patrick Miller; music by David Cover and Christine Cover

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty [lyrics; listen] – words by Joachim Neander; music Lobe den Herren

Wandering Soul [lyrics and listen] – David Cover and Christine Cover

It is Finished [lyrics; listen last track in list] – Dustin Kensrue

Before the Throne of God Above [lyrics and listen] – words by Charitie Lee Bancroft; music by Vikki Cook

Speak, O Lord [lyrics; listen] – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

See you on Sunday!

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