Each of us is on a journey from brokenness to healing and wholeness that echoes the Exodus sojourn. What does Israel’s story of traveling from oppression to liberation have in common with our own? What should we expect to encounter as we seek God’s path of liberation?
“Behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5.
“But the most glorious of all will be the change that will take place among the poor, sinful, miserable children of men. The people had fallen in many respects, as from a greater height, so into a lower depth, than any other part of the creation. But they shall ‘hear a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men: And he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be their God.’ (Rev. 21:3, 4.) Hence will arise an unmixed state of holiness and happiness far superior to that which Adam enjoyed in Paradise. In how beautiful a manner is this described by the Apostle: ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: For the former things are done away!’ As there will be no more death, and no more pain or sickness preparatory thereto; as there will be no more grieving for, or parting with, friends; so there will be no more sorrow or crying. Nay, but there will be a greater deliverance than all this; for there will be no more sin.”
Liberating God: You have called us into existence and community for such a time as this. We pause before You to acknowledge Your presence and power available to each of us this day. (Pause, Selah). Receive all that we lay at Your feet and transform it for Your glory. You have given us Your liberating power. We receive it. May we use it to transform our lives, community and world. Lead us in this time of study, introspection and renewal. Heal. Save. Deliver. 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.
Exodus 12:37-42; Numbers 33:1-56; Ephesians 2:11-20
With Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque.
Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque is pastor of Community Church of Barrington in Barrington, Ill.
HEAD & HEART DISCUSSION
What do you understand differently about who we are as the people of God?
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: