Order of Worship
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
October 18, 2020 10:00 a.m.
One: Behold, Loving God, these people are your people.
All: At your calling, we have gathered; by your leading, we have arrived at this place and time.
One: As you have promised, your presence is with us;
All: and we seek your renewal and rest.
One: Make yourself known to us, Holy Love.
All: Come, Divine Life, be with us as we worship.
Where are you, God?
We long to see you.
We long to feel you near.
We long to be confident of your presence and accompaniment.
We bring our whole selves to this time of discernment and prayer.
See in our faces your creative genius, and hear in our prayers and songs your melodies of life.
Guide and nurture us, we pray. Amen.
Storytelling – “Moses Sees God”
Message in Music “Rock of Ages”
Jackie Oakes – Piano and Vocal
Reading of Scripture Exodus 33:12–23
Message Mike Mallwitz
Dedication of Offering
Generous God, out of our privilege we give. Out of our longing, we seek your face. Bless these coins, bills/notes, and promises and claim them for yourself, knowing we give them to you happy to release their hold on us. Use them toward your mercy, goodness, and glory; we pray. Amen.
Preparation for Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Holy One, even though we have not always been aware, we
know you have been with us along the journeys of our lives.
We have not always recognized your presence, but we thank you for your abiding love. Your glory is all around us. Your mercy has seen us through. Your goodness is our strength and our renewal. And we thank you for the abundance in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray today for people who remain on the journey and feel alone along the way…(pause).
We pray for those who seek your face in times of sickness and ill-health – who long to feel your healing presence intimately…(pause).
We pray for all who suffer under the powers and principalities of this world – who have been treated as collateral damage in a battle for loyalty to false gods…(pause).
We pray for our planet – for your true face all around us. Help us not only to see you clearly in all of its wonder, but to remember our commitment as stewards of your lands, your seas, your air, and your creatures. Guide us in our efforts to care and tend to your world (pause).
We pray that you will help us always to see your face beaming at us in every face of humanity we encounter.
Show us your anguish as well as your delight;
your struggles as well as your strengths;
your discouragement as well as your resolve;
your sadness as well as your love.
And in all of these, help us to know you and your grace more perfectly.
We pray in Christ’s name, who taught us to pray together saying, Our Father…Amen.
Face of God, go now and shine! Amen.
Scripture Reading Exodus 33:12–23 NRSV
Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”
The Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” And the Lord continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
Storytelling – “Moses Sees God”
Based on Exodus 33:12–23
Moses sometimes got very mixed up.
Moses wanted to understand God. He also wanted to understand the people of Israel. Sometimes he would hold his head with his hands and feel very sad. “There are so many things I don’t understand.”
So Moses went to talk with God. “Please help me, God,” said Moses. “I want to understand you.”
“What would you like me to explain?” asked God.
“Well, I’ve seen the wonderful things you’ve done. I’ve seen how you got the people of Israel out of Egypt. I’ve seen how you brought us food when we were hungry. I’ve seen how you got water from a rock when we were thirsty. But…” Moses just stood there and shook his head.
“But what?” God’s voice was soft and kind.
“I haven’t seen you. I want to know what you look like. I want to see your face.”
“That’s a hard thing, Moses,” said God. “It’s hard for people to see me. You can see what I do. You can feel my love in your heart. I am all around you, just like the air is all around you. But you can’t see me.”
“But I want to see you,” Moses was crying a little. “I want to see you, so I know who you are.”
“Moses,” said God. “You have worked very hard to help me. You have worked hard to help the people of Israel. So I am going to do something special for you.
“I can’t let you see my face because, you see, I am not a human like you are. I don’t have a head or legs or arms as you have. I’m not a man or a woman. I’m not old or young. I’m different than anything you know. But maybe I can show you something that will help you understand.
“Go to the big rock that you can see right in front of you. There’s a crack right through the centre of it. Look through that crack. I’ll show you something of who I am.”
So Moses went to the big rock. He looked through the crack. For a while, it felt as if a kind, warm hand was covering his eyes.
Then the hand went away, and Moses saw… He wasn’t sure what he saw.
Moses tried to tell his sister, Miriam, about it. “It was like a flash of lightning, except it wasn’t loud. It wasn’t hard. It was as if my whole body was filled with light. It was as if I was filled with something good and strong.”
“But what you saw was a light?” asked Miriam.
“What I saw was bright and beautiful. But that was only a small part of it, Miriam. Now I feel as if I really know God. And I know for sure that God will always be with me, and with all the people of Israel.”