Worship Companion – September 26 2021

Welcome to our fourth and final week of the “September Survey!”
 

Title: Ecumenical Window
Date: 1976
Building: Old Stone Church (Cleveland, Ohio)

In our texts today, we are reminded that within the Christian fellowship we sometimes stumble upon partnerships in the gospel where we don’t expect them. The Kingdom of God is bigger than our little circles, yes, bigger than our particular church traditions. Let us be reminded today of the grand size of God’s Kingdom.
 
Anchor Texts:
 
Old Testament Reading:
 
New Testament Reading:
 
Preparation for Worship:
 
Prayer:
Loving God,
open our ears to hear your word
and draw us closer to you. Forgive us for our arrogance, and teach us to have soft hearts toward all in Your Kingdom,
that the whole world may be one with you
as you are one with us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
Questions to Ponder:
Is the Israelites complaint really about the monotony of their diet? What do you think is the underlying complaint in Numbers 11:4-6?
 
Is Moses speaking irreverently to God in vv.10-15? Explain why you think he is or isn’t. Have you ever had a season in your life where you called out to God like this?
 
The conclusion to this section of the story seems odd – why this change of gears to the pouring out of God’s Spirit on a few – and Moses’ desire to see it poured out on many? How does this link up with what begins this chapter? 
 
Do you think your default posture is that of Moses or of Joshua (i.e. protecting the in-group [Joshua], or desiring the expansion of the kingdom [Moses])?
 
The Theme in Song:
 
This song struck me because it takes a familiar form (a modern worship band and music style) but it combines it with the kind of story telling found mostly in folk or even rap music of our day. One of the themes in our worship service this week is finding unlikely partners in the gospel. Often, that can happen within our own homes and Brandon Lake, the singer in this song, tells of how he becomes one of those people who is “talking to Jesus” now, but when he was 15, no one would have expected it. Be on the look out for people like the men in Mark 9 who are walking with Jesus already, but they aren’t part of “our group” – but also watch for those who, though it seems unlikely they’ll ever be “in the Spirit” and talking to Jesus, might become partners in the gospel with us someday!
 

 
 
 
The Theme In Art:
 
Title: Head of Moses [Click for larger image view]
 
This sculpture has a contemporary style, but it’s actually about 90 years old. The artist is unknown. The face is a representation of Moses. He is holding something close to his chest, what do you think it is? My first inclination is that we are seeing the two tables of the 10 Commandments. What do you see and feel when you look at the expression on Moses’ face? After reading our passage from Numbers today, I see the expression of a man who carries a great burden. Think about the language Moses used in his complaint to God – images of bearing, birthing, and rearing the nation of Israel – Moses feels responsible for them as a parent to a child, but he cries out that he is not their Father! God is! “So why must I bear the brunt of this rebellious child’s discontentment?” Moses asks.
 
The Theme For Kids:
 
This video is pretty silly, but it tells us an important message about God’s provision! Israel certainly wasn’t perfect, and God sill provided for them – and He still provides for us, by giving us the greatest gift, Jesus our King!
 

 
 

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