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In the four verses from Exodus 32, Moses builds a convincing case that averts God’s wrath against the Israelites. By mentioning God’s powerful involvement and mighty intervention in bringing the people out of Egypt, Moses—the great advocate of the disobedient people—skillfully reframes the situation and the judgment of the Divine....

Lord, who is present, thank you for your continuous presence and participation in my life! Today, I lift up for your intervention as you know that person’s needs. Thank you for providing and protecting this person in ways that only you can perceive. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
October 16–22, 2017
Scripture Overview

In Exodus 33 Moses successfully argues that without Yahweh’s merciful presence Israel is no nation and that Yahweh’s and Moses’ efforts have come to naught. Psalm 99 mentions Yahweh’s royal rule, which brings to mind the human agents of that rule: Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. Each of these leaders facilitated Yahweh’s conversation with the people and Yahweh’s rule over them. The opening lines from First Thessalonians raise a question about the church’s understanding of evangelism. Paul and his coworkers experience a change in themselves because of the Thessalonians, who become a living proclamation of the gospel by virtue of their ready acceptance of it. In the Gospel reading, Jesus answers a question with a question and confuses his “audience” both then and today.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 33:12-23. When have you most longed for a glimpse of God’s glory? How did God give you the assurance you needed?
• Read Psalm 99. Where in your life is forgiveness needed to restore a loving relationship? How have you experienced “a forgiving God”?
• Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. As your Christian faith has developed, how have you seen it move “from head to heart to hands”?
• Read Matthew 22:15-22. How do you give to God “the things that are God’s”? What are some of those things Jesus wants you to give?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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