How to Prepare for Sunday Sept. 15th 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.

Keith Simon continues our series in Exodus this Sunday with a sermon, “God Uses the Ordinary to Do the Extraordinary,” from Exodus 4:1–9. The Scripture reads, 1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6 Then the LORD said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.
7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the LORD said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

This passage continues the conversation as God calls Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. Moses is concerned about his credibility, about the possibility that the Israelites or the Egyptians won’t believe that God has really called him. Moses has had the burning bush encounter with God to convince him. What will God do for those back in Egypt?

Perhaps you can identify with Moses’ concern. You have responsibilities in front of you, work that you believe God has given you: your job, family relationships, commitments to your small group. What do you do when you feel overcome by all these things, or some of them start to go badly, and you feel on the line? If you feel like the things that God has called you to do are more than you can handle, you will get encouragement from Exod 4:1–9, as God turns your eyes away from yourself and towards him.

We will take communion this Sunday, which God has given us to encourage us in our faith, to impart grace to us, as we eat the bread and drink the wine and look to Christ’s death. Take a moment to reflect how communion may be part of God’s sign to us when we feel overwhelmed, as in Exod 4, and also pray before the service and ask God to prepare you to receive his Son by faith in the bread and wine.

In two weeks on Sept. 27th we will have a special worship and prayer night. One new song that night will be “Jude Doxology” (by Ghost Ship). The words draw from Jude 24-25, which we often use as a benediction on Sunday mornings. The lyrics also incorporate much of the story of the exodus, which makes it a particularly appropriate song for our current sermon series. You can listen to and begin to learn the song here (track #4).

Our song list for this Sunday (with links to lyrics and music)

Holy, Holy, Holy (Lord God, Almighty) [lyrics; listen] – words by Reginald Heber; music by John Dykes

I Sing the Mighty Power of God [listen and lyrics] – words by Isaac Watts; additional lyrics by Scott Johnson and Keith Scherer; music by Scott Johnson, Andrew Camp, and Andrew Luley

How Great Thou Art [lyrics; listen] – Stuart Hine; music is a Swedish folk melody; arranged by Page CXVI

Christ is Risen [lyrics; listen] – Matt Maher and Mia Fieldes

The Mystery of Faith [lyrics and listen] – words traditional English liturgy; music by Scott Johnson and David Wilton

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand [lyrics; listen] – words by Samuel Stennett; music by Christopher Miner

See you on Sunday!

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