Friday, September 1, 2017

Moses and the Burning Bush

Children’s Chapel
September 3, 2017

Theme: Moses and the Burning Bush
Bible Reference: Exodus 3: 1-15

·        Welcome: Welcome all and ask if we have any new friends. Introduce new friends.

·         Church Practice and Liturgical Calendar:
We continue in the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. The cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is green today which is the color we use during Ordinary Time.  Who would like to move the arrow on our liturgical calendar? (Allow one child to come up to the calendar to move the arrow forward one week.) The arrow is now pointing to the thirteenth green square.  You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are green. (Light altar candles.) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We also remember that God is always with us, that Jesus lives in our hearts and that we are inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before we begin our Bible lesson today, let us pray the collect or prayer of the week.

·        Children’s Collect for September 3rd:
Let Us Pray:
Heavenly Father, you are the Creator of all and the author and giver of all good things. Create and increase love in our hearts. Nourish us with all goodness and create in us the fruits of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

·         Introduction: We have learned in Children’s Chapel that the Bible is made up of two parts. Raise your hand if you would like to tell me what we call the two parts of the Bible (Allow answers.) You are right! The two parts of the Bible are the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament begins when Jesus is born. We hear about Jesus’ life and teachings, his death and resurrection and about things that happened after Jesus ascended to heaven. In big church we listen to both the Old Testament and the New Testament as well as a Psalm and the Epistle from the apostle Paul each week. In Children’s Chapel we talk about just one of those four Bible readings read in Big Church, but whatever we listen to in here is also what your parents are listening to in Big Church. Last week we read from the Old Testament book of Exodus about the Baby Moses who was saved from the river Nile. Today’s Bible  story also comes from the Old Testament book of Exodus and continues with Moses’ life after he is grown.

·          Bible Story: Read Aloud: The Jesus Storybook Bible p. 84
With Children in grades 1-5, have several children volunteers read the selected verses aloud to the others.

·             Bible Reference:
             Exodus 3:1-15
             Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest   
of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who   are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
11But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” 13But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“ 15God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.

·    Response: In the Bible story we just listened to, Moses has grown up and moved into the country and has become a shepherd. As Moses was just having a normal day out with his flock of sheep, he sees a bush on fire but it is not being destroyed by the flames. As Moses gets closer to the bush he suddenly hears the voice of God say, “Stop! Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals because you are standing on holy ground.” Moses is afraid. I would be too to see this burning bush and to hear the voice of God. But Moses does not run away. He stays and listens as God tells him that he wants to use Moses to help free the Israelites who are being badly mistreated by the Egyptian King. Let’s remember back to the story from last week when Moses’ mother who was an Israelite placed her baby boy in a basket on the Nile River because the Pharaoh had ordered all the Israelite’s baby boys to be put to death. But God had a different plan for Moses’ life. Moses was rescued from the river Nile by Pharaoh’s own daughter who took him in and raised him as her own son. Moses therefore was adopted into a royal family and grew up around the very Egyptian King who had ordered his death! Moses knew how to speak to the Egyptians even though he had fled from the land as an adult and now God wanted him to go to the Pharaoh and demand that he set all of the Israelites free. Moses was not sure that he could do what God was asking him to do and he actually really didn’t want to do it. But God assured Moses that he would be with him and that God would be his strength and his voice. Moses was scared but he trusted God. In the same way, we can trust that God is always with us and that he wants to use us to do good in the world. We may not hear God speak to us from a burning bush as Moses did, but we may get a strong feeling within our hearts that makes us want to act. There may be a time when we see a friend being mistreated by others and we feel a desire to speak up for them. We may be scared, but God is with us to be able to speak up for another person. At other times we may feel a desire to work in a certain area that would help others with the talent we have. We may also feel like Moses did that our talent is small, but God can use any talent to be of good use for others. There are many things that we may get that special desire or nudge from God that would lead us to be of good to the world.  We may be scared as Moses was, but we can also trust that God is with us and will always be our strength through his love for each and all of us.

·      Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your presence with us always in all that we do. Strengthen us in hope and peace as we trust in you that we be a source of your love in the world. In your holy name. Amen

·             Response Activity will be provided.

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