828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Christian Formation for March 3 - Exodus 3:1-15; Moses at the Burning Bush and the Divine Name

March 3, 2013 – 3 Lent
Exodus 3:1-15
Moses at the Burning Bush; The Divine Name Revealed
Background: The book of Exodus describes Israel’s enslavement in Egypt and their deliverance from Egypt to Sinai, ultimately leading to the Promise Land. In the first portion of Exodus, begins with Moses being confirmed as the leader to bring Israel out of bondage and with him being commissioned by God on Horeb to complete his task. God defines the relationship between God and Moses and provides assurances that God will be with Moses during his shepherding of Israel.
Theme: Moses has fled from Egypt and is now working as a shepherd for his father-in-law Jethro. As part of his duties, Moses leads the sheep beyond the wilderness most likely in search of pasture. While on Horeb, Moses meets an apparition of the Lord and receives a numinous sign of God’s presence. As part of his meeting with God he is commissioned to service and given God’s name as a pledge.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Exodus 3:1-15. Please skim chapters 1 and 2 for context.
* Briefly describe the setting of this passage.
* What do you find interesting about Moses and his father-in-law? What do you think the meaning of Moses being a shepherd and his father-in-law being a priest might imply, especially in light of the nature and history of Israel?
* What do you think the mission of the shepherd is in Hebrew faith? Do you think this position is specifically affiliated with the Hebrews? Why or why not?
* What do you think it means when the writer says “he [Moses] led his flock beyond the wilderness…”? How might this statement be a foreshadowing of his future?
* As Moses comes upon the burning bush, on the one hand he is drawn to look at the bush; yet on the other hand, when he finds out the bush is God he looks away. How might this be important for Moses and his life as God’s minister to the people? Why might Moses choose to look away from the image that “must” be God?
* Why do you think the writer has God calling Moses twice?
* What might the significance of God telling Moses to take off his sandals be? How would Moses’ sandals “pollute” the holy ground of Horeb?
* How does the quantity and number of actors speaking the phrase “I am” (Moses’ response ‘here I am,’ Moses asking ‘who am I,’ God saying ‘I am who I am,’ etc.) strike you?
* What, if anything, do you find odd about the sign that God promises to Moses, “…when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”?
* Why do you think Moses is told, by God, to tell the Israelites that, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors…” as opposed to simply that God had told Moses to do “something”? Wasn’t God the God of Moses’ ancestors too?
* Why might it be significant for God to declare the eternal nature of his name?
* What is the good news to the Hebrews?
* What is our good news and the application for us today?

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