Scripture Passages of the Week
The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.
Then 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. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At 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. He 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.’
Then 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.’ So 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. The 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. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
Reflection of the Week
This week, our “Key to Survival” is Take Heart! Oddly enough, this message of courage is based on an ancient notion of the fear of the Lord. Such biblical phrases are uncomfortable for us at first, but for the ancient Israelites it was liberating and encouraging to fear God above all earthly powers.
For example, as we continue through the book of Exodus, we find the Israelites who were once terrified of their Egyption masters suddenly see that God’s power is far greater, easily parting the Red Sea to lead them to freedom.
Whenever we are sure the odds are against us, and we begin to let fear of the future overshadow hope, let us remember to fear and respect God more, until our souls learn to truly take heart.
Service Highlights or Announcements for this Sunday
Thursday September 10th is our last Prayers of the People conference call. With the return of the Gather worship service and its Prayers of the People, we have collectively agreed to discontinue this offering. Thank you to everyone who has participated in the weekly conference calls. We look forward to hearing your prayer requests during the Gather worship service.
Gather worship service is back! Come check out our virtual Gather(ing) via Zoom on Wednesdays at 7 pm. We would LOVE to see you there. Come ready to discuss our scripture passage and raise our voices in song! If you would like the Zoom link, please sign up here.
Peace and Health,