September 22, 2019
This week will be the third week of Exodus part two. The book of Exodus is about God’s mission to redeem a people for His Kingdom in the world.
Here’s how you can prepare this week, Instructions for Pursuing Justice:
1. Read through our text, Exodus 21:1–23:9.
In this section, the foundational instructions given in the “ten words” get developed and applied to Israel’s context and cultural situation. In the ancient near eastern context, these instructions wouldn’t have been understood as exhaustive statutory law (a written law code that governs all aspects of civil life). They would have been understood as instructions that set paradigms to guide the values, behaviors, and civil life of Israel. The overwhelming thrust of the Mosaic Law is a push toward the values of human dignity, justice, compassion, and mercy.
For the modern reader, many of these laws—especially regarding slavery and the treatment of women—feel like archaic expressions of unjust systems and practices. To be sure, these laws are situated in a broader society that was marked by dehumanizing values and unjust systems. At the same time, it is important to understand that these laws—in their original context—were revolutionary advancements in human rights and civil and social justice.
Even so, the Israelites continued to turn from God’s instruction toward autonomous self-preservation. Their perpetual rebellion is highlighted to help all future readers identify with the Israelites, and to point all humanity to our need for grace and heart-level transformation.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 3:1–4, Welcome (From Immanuel Nashville):
To all who are weary and need rest,
To all who mourn and long for comfort,
To all who feel worthless and wonder if God cares,
To all who fail and desire strength,
To all who sin and need a Savior,
This church opens wide her doors
with a welcome from Jesus Christ,
the Ally of His enemies, the Defender of the guilty,
the Justifier of the inexcusable, the Friend of sinners,
The Lion And The Lamb (Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson, Leeland Mooring)
Break Every Chain (Will Reagan)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook
we confess that we have sinned against You
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved You
with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
In Your mercy forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be,
so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways,
to the glory of Your holy name.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Peter 2:24–25
Is He Worthy? (Andrew Peterson, Ben Shive arr. Shane & Shane)
GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE, & COMMUNION
Like Incense / Sometimes By Step (Brooke Ligertwood, David (Beaker) Strasser, Rich Mullins)
Take My Life And Let It Be (Frances Ridley Havergal Henri Abraham Cesar Malan)