Advertisement
Click here for General Assembly coverage

God provides — Family faith formation @ home: August 1

Welcome 

Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together. 

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings 

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

Choose a “point of view” of one of the characters in this story and listen to the second reading of the text from that perspective. What did you hear differently the second time than you did during the first reading?

Connecting through story

Watch and listen to a reading of the book “Adam and Eve’s First Sunset: God’s New Day” by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

  • What did Adam and Eve fear?
  • What did they do when they were afraid?
  • How did they get what they needed?

 

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • What was happening with the ancient Israelites in the Exodus story?
  • What was their first reaction?
  • Why did they complain?
  • Why did they want to go back to a place and time when they were enslaved?
  • What did their complaining and accusations say about their relationship with God?
  • Why did God listen to their cries?
  • What was God’s response?
  • Why did God provide them with food?
  • Why do you think God wanted them to only pick up enough bread for that one day?
  • What is your first response when you are afraid you won’t have what you need?
  • In what ways did you try to “fix it” by yourself?
  • When has God provided what you needed?
  • What role do doubt and fear play during that time?
  • What helped you trust God would provide what you needed?
  • What does this story teach you about God and about how much God cares for you and for all God’s people?

 

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • The ancient Israelites are the descendants of Abraham through whom the covenant would be fulfilled and a great nation would be formed.
  • However, for over 400 years the only life they knew was of being enslaved. They bore unrealistic expectations (i.e., making bricks without straw,) heavy burdens (i.e., unattainable quotas) and unimaginable cruelty (i.e., infant genocide).
  • When they cried out to God from their bondage, their pleas were heard and God sent Moses to lead them from oppression and to the Promised Land.
  • At this point in the story, they are making their way through the wilderness toward the Promised Land. They have experienced firsthand God’s providential care in their release from captivity, a pillar of fire to guide their way and the parting of the Red Sea. And yet…
  • They are grousing to Moses, and his brother Aaron, wishing they had died rather than being in the circumstances they perceived themselves to be in at that moment. They were hungry, afraid, frustrated and likely tired. They were giving up hope and beginning to distrust God.
  • God, once again, hears their cries. These are God’s own people — claimed and loved by God.
  • God, once again, responds to their pleas and gives them what they need: bread.
  • The admonishment to, and the practice of, collecting only enough bread for one day teaches the formerly enslaved to rely on and trust in God to provide all that they need — every day.
  • Trusting in God’s providential care can be a difficult lesson to learn for people who like to be in control or think they can do everything by themselves.
  • Learning to turn to God and trust that God will provide is as important to us today as it was to the ancient Israelites.

Think about all the different things we need and the ways that God provides. Have one person suggest a need and have the group act out the ways in which God responds and provides for that need.

Prayer

Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.

 

LATEST STORIES

Advertisement