It takes many dramatic events for Pharaoh to let God’s people go, and the final catalyst becomes a significant ritual in Jewish life. So, is God violent? How does your image of God affect how you live in the world? And what do our rituals say about the God we worship? Today’s cartalk / tabletalk covers some of the biggest questions of faith.
READ: Exodus 12:1-14 (Year A Proper 18)
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
- REFLECT: What do you like or dislike about this story? What shocks you? What questions does it raise?
- RELATE: What do our religious rituals tell us about God? Is God violent? How do you relate this story to the person of Jesus Christ? Talk about this.
- RESPOND: Is God calling you or us to any practical response now? Pray about it, then act, or talk to one of the leaders if it requires a group response.
- REPORT: If you or your household do take action, text or email a photo of that action to Sanctuary with a brief explanation. We can use it during the service or, with your permission, add it to the Facebook page.
Cartalk / Tabletalk © Sanctuary, 2020. Year A Proper 18.
Cartalk / Tabletalk
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