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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Christian Formation for Sunday Feb. 10 - Exodus 34:29-35; The Shining Face of Moses

February 10, 2013 – Last Epiphany
Exodus 34:29-35
The Shining Face of Moses
Background: Exodus describes the formation of the people of Israel and their deliverance from Egypt. This book also describes the basis for the covenant relationship between God יהוה and Israel. This passage from Exodus describes the recommitment of Israel to God יהוה following their wanton sin with the Golden Calf.
Theme: The people have given up on Moses while he is on the Mountain with יהוה and have created an idol. Moses redeems Israel by interceding with יהוה preventing their destruction. But the Israelites need a renewed Covenant to remain God’s chosen people. In this passage Moses returns yet again from the Mountain, with astonishing results.
Questions to Ponder
* Please read Exodus 20:18-21 for comparison and Exodus 31:18-33:23 for background.
* Briefly describe the setting of today’s reading; where are Moses and Israel; what is their “standing” with God; what has taken place in the lives of the people recently?
* Briefly compare this reading to Exodus 20:18-21. What stands out between the two accounts? Why might there be differences in the accounts?
* What has happened in the story which led Moses to come down from the mountain to bring the new tablets of the Covenant to the Israelites?
* Why do you think Moses’ face shone? Why might Moses’ shining face be a cause for disease in the Israelites?
* For what reason do you think the Israelites demanded Moses veil his face before them (at least once he was done speaking God’s word to them)?
* Why would it be important for Moses to not be veiled when he went before God?
* If Moses needed to remove his veil before God what do you think changed for God when Moses removed his veil?
* Could Moses actually be veiled before God? Can we be veiled before God?
* Who is our “Moses” today? How might we ask “him” to be veiled before us?
* Do you think another, besides Moses, would have a shining face if they went before God? Why or why not?
* Do you think Moses’ face actually shone when he came from meeting God (at least in the second occurrence)? Why might his face shine after the second meeting and not the first?
*What purpose do you think Moses’ shining face served? For him, for the Israelites, and for God?
* Do you think our faces (or the faces of some) shine when we meet God? How might we know that our face is shining?
* For what purpose did Moses change all the time: veil before the people, unveil before God and when declaring God’s message, veiling after conveying God’s message?
* Do you think we do the same thing today? Do you think we should do the same thing today? How might we “veil our face” today in a helpful way?
* What application might we have for this passage today?

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