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God’s omnipotent presence is made known to the Israelites as “angel of God,” and by a “pillar of cloud.” God serves as a protector, going before the Israelites and later behind them. This divine presence “steps” between the army of Egypt and the Israelites.
God serves our lives in similar...

Gracious God, I am aware of your presence, and I thank you for carrying me through difficult times, never leaving my side. Heighten my awareness of your presence as I realize you will stand with me and see me through. In the holy name of Jesus I pray. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
September 11–17, 2017 Regina Franklin Basye
Scripture Overview

Exodus 14 narrates the Exodus event in stylized liturgical statements. It tells of God’s utter commit- ment to Israel and of Israel’s fearful doubt. This is a narrative “toward faith.” Psalm 114 is a buoyant, almost de ant cele- bration of the Exodus, in which all the enemies of Yahweh are put to embarrassing ight. It is recalled that Yahweh’s sovereign power to liberate is decisive for the world, as it is for Israel. In Romans 14 Paul struggles with the issue of free- dom within obedience and moves us beyond the letter of the law to its spirit. For Paul, the attitude of faith shapes human conduct. The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew reminds all would-be disciples that law must be tempered with mercy in their dealings with one another if they expect to receive mercy from God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 14:19-31. How can you tell when God is guiding you? When in your life have you wondered if God was still there? Reflect on those times.
• Read Psalm 114. “Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.” Substitute your name for Judah and Israel in this verse and pray the words several times. How does it feel to be called God’s sanctuary and dominion?
• Read Romans 14:1-12. How do you observe a weekly sabbath? Are there businesses in your community that close for a sabbath? How does that practice affect you?
• Read Matthew 18:21-35. Whom do you want or need to for- give? Why and how might you avoid this issue? How will you pray about this?

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