The stories of Exodus belong to every generation. They introduce us to God’s deliverance and the possibilities of new life. But that doesn’t mean we can avoid the hardships of the wilderness or that we should shrink from the unexpected ways God can deliver us.
Way and Waymaker, God of the Way out also known as God of the Exodus: Your love meets us here. Thank You for attending to the cries of Your people. Thank You for being the God who is with us. Thank You for journeying with us through every circumstance and for sitting with us in times of joy, sorrow, grief, fear, frustration, unbelief, and/or discontent. In this moment, release us from all that binds us. Strengthen us, as we wholeheartedly follow You. Give us a deeper understanding of Your will and more grace to understand one another. Sojourner God, lead the way. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
In the gift of this moment, we affirm that we are divinely loved and lovable.
We are the children of God.
Together, we will learn from the actions and words of one another.
Christ’s lessons on love are centered in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves.
We will exercise courage in this study as we share stories of struggle and strength.
We will stay at the table and receive those stories with grace.
We will not be afraid to launch into the deep.
We will commit to the vulnerability necessary to allow God to break us open.
We will set and respect boundaries and honor confidentiality together.
When uncertainty arises, we will remember the Spirit of “peace that passes our own understanding” and can intercede for us.
We will remember that even when we don’t feel “United,”
The uniting love of Christ can reveal a pathway to greater
wisdom and mutual respect.
No matter what, there is a place for each one of us in this study together.
Let us hold each other up in prayer, hold each other accountable in love, and
trust that our God is making all things new.
Thank you for the gift of being present to one another in this holy time.
With Rev. Dr. Bruce Birch
Rev. Dr. Birch retired as Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
HEAD & HEART DISCUSSION
PRAYER AND PATHWAY TO JOURNALING
Often, when we become reflexively resistant to what we’ve experienced through study, it is pointing towards an area worthy of more reflection and prayer. In this part of study, we invite you to examine your areas of resistance or struggle. Allow God to reveal how transformation can occur in those areas.
Use these open-ended questions to facilitate your introspection:
"Ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22
“If darkness comes upon you by heavy and unexpected temptations, the best way of removing and preventing this is to teach believers to always expect temptation, seeing they dwell in an evil world, among wicked, subtle, malicious spirits, and have a heart capable of all evil. Convince them that the whole work of sanctification does not, as they imagined, happen all at once; they may expect many storms before they come to the full stature of Christ. Above all, let them be instructed, when the storm is upon them, not to reason with the devil, but to pray; to pour out their souls before God, and show him of their trouble. … God will bear witness to his word, and bring their souls out of trouble. He will say, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’ Yea, and that light, if thou walk humbly and closely with God, will ‘shine more and more unto the perfect day.’"